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.
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.
In this video we listen to the heart of a patient who has a diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction and a heart murmur.
WHAT IS DIASTOLIC DYSFUNCTION?
Diastolic dysfunction occurs when the left ventricle gets stiffer and is not able to accept blood return in a normal fashion. It can lead to high blood pressure and even heart failure thus requiring regular monitoring and management.
This lovely patient also has a heart murmur that you can clearly hear with the stethoscope. We take a listen to her heart at rest and during exercise.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. If you experience any symptoms of weakness, unsteadiness, light-headedness or dizziness, chest pain or pressure, nausea, or shortness of breath, stop exercising and seek immediate help.
As I travelled back from Sydney this weekend I lost count of how many coughs, sneezes and sniffles I heard.
Respiratory viral infections are spread by aerosol transmission - coughing, sneezing or even talking. They will mostly get better alone with good old fashioned TLC. If you are unwell consider staying home so that the virus doesn’t spread to others and no doubt your workmates will also be happy that they won’t get sick too.
Strict hygiene is important if you are sick, sneezing into a tissue, throwing away used tissues and washing hands regularly are a must.
If you’re symptoms aren’t settling, have any concerns or if you even need a sick note pop down and see me in clinic.
Let’s all do our part to prevent transmission of the common cold.💪 Take care and stay healthy 😘
In this episode I take you on my journey of working as a GP in rural Australia. For the next two weeks I’ll be working from the tropical paradise of the Whitsundays. I share with you some interesting differences between working in a rural town versus working in a metropolitan city and the type of cases that I’ve been presented with.
The 74 Whitsunday Islands lie between the northeast coast of Queensland, Australia, and the Great Barrier Reef, a massive stretch of coral teeming with marine life. Most of the islands are uninhabited. They’re characterised by dense rainforest, hiking trails and white sand beaches. The town of Airlie Beach on the mainland is the region’s central hub.