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Coronavirus Test

COVID - 19

COVID-19 otherwise known as 'Coronavirus disease' is a highly infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The vast majority of those infected will only experience mild to moderate respiratory symptoms and recover within 1 - 4 weeks. Older people or those with underlying medical conditions such as: diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer or those with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop a serious illness. People at any age or state of health can die from COVID.

Overview

In late 2019, initial outbreaks of coronavirus spread from Wuhan China in the Hubei province. What is thought to have begun in the wet markets from a bat transference to humans via an intermediate animal. By January 2020, health authorities in China confirmed human to human transmission of the virus which then spread quickly to other provinces of mainland China. Despite significant efforts for quarantine measures, the virus quickly spread internationally to Iran, South Korea and Italy. Within a short time, COVID-19 became a pandemic and precautionary measures were taken by almost every government around the world.

Prevention & Control

Due to the highly infections nature of COVID-19, extra precautionary measures are recommended by the World Health Organisation which became public policy in many places. These included:

  • Being fully vaccinated.

  • Stay at least 1 - 1.5 metres apart from others even if illness is not apparent.

  • Wearing a mask in healthcare or relevant public settings.

  • Attempting to improve ventilation indoors.

  • Regularly washing hands with soap and water or alcohol sanitising handwash. 

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

  • If unwell, quarantining indoors and self-isolate until full recovery (time frames for quarantining differed between countries).

Symptoms

COVID-19 affects people in different ways typically depending upon age and health status. Most will develop mild to moderate symptoms including:

  • fever

  • cough

  • tiredness

  • loss of taste or smell.

Less common symptoms can include:

  • sore throat

  • headache

  • severe aches and pains

  • diarrhea

  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

  • red or irritated eyes.

 

Serious symptoms which require immediate medical attention include:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • loss of speech or mobility, or confusion

  • chest pain.

Treatment

Treatment is dependent upon symptoms but can include

  • Calling your doctor or COVID-19 centre to get tested or otherwise conduct a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)

  • If positive, register your COVID results with the appropriate authority.

  • If testing is not available, stay home and away from others for 14 days depending upon policy at the time.

  • Ask someone to bring you supplies while in quarantine.

  • Remain 1 metre away from others including family.

  • Wear a medical mask to protect others.

  • Frequently wash your hands.

  • Stay in a separate room from other members of the household and and if not possible, wear a medical mask.

  • Keep rooms well-ventilated.

  • Monitor any symptoms for 14 days.

  • If the situation worsens, call Nurse On Call especially if you have: difficulty breathing, loss of speech or mobility, confusion or chest pain.

Vaccines

The current vaccines available in Australia for COVID-19 are:

  • Pfizer (Comirnaty)

  • Moderna (Spikevax)

  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria)

  • Novovax (Nuvaxovid)

There is a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 Vaccines. It is important to obtain your knowledge of COVID-19 and vaccines from reputable sources.

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