With 4 confirmed cases of the novel virus at present in Australia, measures are being taken to help stop the propagation of the virus.
In today’s episode of Dr Nora I talk to you about my battle of finding protective measures to protect myself and my patients.
It is thought that the virus may be transmitted through airborne droplets from sneezing or coughing and it is felt that the P2/N95 mask may offer some protection. As a health care practitioner seeing around 50 patients a day it is my utmost priority to look after my patients and ensure that they are safe. After work I rushed over to my local hardware store and enquired about the mask. Unfortunately, they and all of their other franchises had run out and the only ones left were darth-Vader-esq masks.
After much deliberation I got over the aesthetics and remembered the purpose and brought one. As I drove away I thought I would call local pharmacies to check their stocks. After calling 20 different pharmacies over a span of 60km I was met with the same response ‘sorry we’re out of stock’.
Rather fortunately I drove past the hospital and thought perhaps I could ask my colleagues there and explain the situation. After speaking with the staff in ED they kindly gave me a mask for myself and my staff.
WHAT IS WUHAN CORONAVIRUS?
Wuhan is a city in China where the virus originated from. It is not fully understood how the virus is transmitted but it is believe that it originated in a live seafood market and has so far affected over 1000 people in China with around 40 people dying. It is believed that this who have died from the virus have had underlying medical conditions.
Australia has received its first confirmed case this weekend and to date there are 4 cases in two states, NSW and QLD.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The virus causes symptoms pneumonia, including, fever, cough, shortness of breath and feeling unwell and tired. It is believed that there is an incubation period of around 14 days which means that someone may not know they have the virus immediately.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Those who have travelled to Wuhan or those who have close contacts with someone who has recently travelled or has a confirmed case.
HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF?
Usual hygiene measures are crucial such as regular hand washing. It has currently not been recommended for the general public to use a mask outside of the health care setting.
WHERE TO BUY P2 MASKS?
I THINK I HAVE WUHAN WHAT SHOULD I DO?
If you have a suspicion you may be affected as perhaps you’ve recently travelled from there or know a close contact. You should maintain isolation and seek medical help. It is imperative that before you go to a doctor or the ED you must call ahead so that protective measures may be taken. You will need to be in isolation to protect others around you and hence stop the propagation of this virus.
Tests can be performed to confirm the virus and treatment may be initiated. The virus is new and not much information has been released. Scientists are working on a vaccination though this can take time.
Together with your help we can stop the propagation of the virus.
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I hope you’ve found this video useful and always, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line below.
Take care and stay healthy,
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