All Posts Tagged: virus

Woman wearing a face mask

Wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic

As you may know, you now need to wear a face covering (like a mask) whenever you leave your home.

This is one way we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

So, next time you come into the clinic, don’t forget to bring your mask with you.

What masks are available?

There are two types of masks commonly available – disposable and cloth.

Cloth masks are good because they’re recyclable and better for the environment than disposable masks.

Cloth masks must fit snugly around your face. They should have three layers of closely woven fabric – cotton on the inside, cotton blend in the middle and a polyester outer layer.

P2 masks should not be used because they’re difficult to take on and off without contaminating your hands.

Where should I buy one from?

It’s best to purchase or make a proper mask according to Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines.

Pharmacies and post offices are good places to buy masks, as many sold on the internet may be inappropriate.

How should I care for my mask?

Cloth masks should be washed in hot water and detergent. It’s well known that hot water above 56°C can kill the virus.

Care is required when removing your mask to avoid touching the outer and inner surface of it.

Disposable masks must be put in the bin after each use.

Wearing a mask

Wash your masks in hot water.

What are the most important things to consider about masks?

Wearing a mask in public is mandatory in Melbourne when you leave your home for an essential reason, even if you feel or appear to be well.

Being well can be deceptive, as you can carry COVID-19 and not know it, unwittingly spreading the virus.

In fact, 80% of people who have contracted coronavirus have showed no symptoms or mild respiratory symptoms like a mild flu. This poses a real danger to those with chronic diseases and other high-risk groups for whom the virus is a major threat.

And remember, masks are not a replacement for social distancing, strict hand hygiene, and sneeze and cough etiquette.

It’ll take time to adjust

If you haven’t worn a mask before, we know it may feel a bit odd and uncomfortable to begin with.

But you’ll get used to it, and it’s one way we can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect each other.

Feeling unwell?

If you have any respiratory symptoms, no matter how mild, you should get tested for COVID-19.

Following your test, please stay at home until you get the all-clear.

As always, we’re here for you. If you have any questions, please give us a call on 9304 0500.

More information about coronavirus

 

Source: RACGP

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

Last updated 24 July 2020

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Coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions - healthy habits

Struggling with coronavirus restrictions? Here are 4 ways you can look after yourself

It can be easy to slip into bad habits or lose sight of our health goals when times are tough.

That’s why maintaining some healthy habits during the the government’s coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions is more important than ever.

So, here are some practical tips for maintaining and boosting your health at home, and how you can access our services for support.

Perhaps we can help you find a silver lining to the current situation!

1. Keep exercising

As well as boosting immunity, exercise can have a calming effect, keeping our minds clear and focused, and our anxiety contained.

That’s why it’s super important to keep exercising during the coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions.

There are lots of creative ways to create your own ‘home gym’, and you don’t need to go out and buy expensive exercise equipment. Grab a couple of soup tins from the kitchen cupboard – they make for great dumbbells!

In fact, many activities don’t require anything more than your body itself. For example, push-ups, planks and burpees are great for getting the heart pumping.

Remember to get outside as much as you can. Playgrounds and barbeque areas may be closed, but you can still go for a jog or brisk walk. Now there’s really no excuse to keep the dog locked up all day!

We suggest scheduling your exercise sessions. This will make it easier to stick to and help you get into a routine.

Not sure where to start? You can get a personal exercise program from our exercise experts. You can book in for a free initial telehealth session with our exercise physiologist or physiotherapists.

If you find exercising easier with other people, group classes are still available. We’ve reduced our exercise physiology class sizes to 1-3 people maximum. This means you can continue to maintain a social network during isolating times while at the same time help build up your immune system.

2. Establish an eating routine

For those of you who spend most of your time out of the house (at work, running errands etc), your daily routine may have centered around set meal and snack times.

However, with most of us either working from home, taking a break from work, or just spending more time in general at home, your old eating routines may have disappeared.

Without this same structure to your day, it’s easy to fall into bad habits. For example, having larger meals, extra snacking, or eating just for the sake of it! It’s easy to do, especially being so close to the kitchen.

To prevent overeating, and to promote healthier food choices, you could establish a new eating routine to match your needs at home. For example, consider these set times:

  • Breakfast: 8am
  • Morning tea: 11am
  • Lunch: 1.30pm
  • Afternoon tea: 4pm
  • Dinner: 7pm
  • Supper: 8.30pm

If you’re considering intermittent fasting as an option for weight management during isolation, an early morning black coffee could replace breakfast, while a herbal tea could replace supper at night.

You can take this a step further by planning what you choose to eat, and how much, at each set time. Always consider your energy needs – if you are less active at home, you may plan to eat less than usual (i.e. smaller or less frequent snacks).

If you would like some help establishing a new eating routine, or if you have other nutrition-related concerns, please speak with our in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller. Private health and Medicare rebates are available.

3. Balance your thoughts

Worrying about diseases is a normal reaction. But excessive worrying can affect both our physical and mental health.

Fortunately, there are practical psychological skills to help you and your loved ones cope with anxiety.

When we get stressed about our health or risk of infection, our thoughts can become dark, brooding and pessimistic. Thoughts like, “How will I cope if I get sick?” and “I can’t deal with this”, are often triggered by stress, but they don’t help us. Negative and dark brooding thoughts will stop you doing things that can help.

Our thoughts are not always true or helpful. Challenge your negative thoughts by asking yourself what a friend would say in the same situation, or ask yourself what evidence do you have that you ‘won’t cope or can’t cope’? Whenever you recognise a negative thought, try to balance it with a realistic thought.

If you need help with balancing your thoughts, our psychologists Julie Paschke and Jenny Ricketts are here for you. You don’t need a referral to see a psychologist.

4. Shut down the noise (do things you like instead)

Stress is infectious, and often unhelpful. People tend to talk about things they are worried about. This creates lots of ‘noise’, which can create even more stress.

Give yourself permission to switch off ‘noise’ such as social media, news and the radio for most of each day.

Also give yourself permission to excuse yourself from people who are creating stress. Keep checking in to reliable news sources once or twice a day, but otherwise, turn down the ‘noise’.

Instead, replace it with things that can help you, including doing things you enjoy, like listening to music, riding your bike, yoga or even meditation.

You could also schedule a regular ‘event’, like a games night with those in your household, or your own version of a Gold Class cinema experience, complete with ice-creams and cardboard tickets that your kids can make.

Need help managing your stress levels? Have a chat with your Pascoe Vale doctor or psychologist – we’re always here to help.

Here’s how consultations are working

All consultations are currently being carried out over the phone or on video. In some cases you may be required to come in to the clinic.

 Telehealth
(consult over the phone)
Telehealth video
(consult over live video)
In-clinic
PsychologistYesZoom
Facetime
Yes
PodiatristYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
PhysiotherapistYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
Exercise physiologistYesCoviu
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
DietitianYesSkype
Zoom
Facetime
Yes
Speech pathologistYesZoom
Facetime
No

*In-clinic option is only available if your practitioner determines that your health needs cannot be managed by phone or video, or for hands-on care like podiatry and physiotherapy.

We’re here to support you

In addition to things like staying at home and practising good hygiene, focusing on some healthy habits and routines during the coronavirus Stage 3 restrictions will hold you in good stead.

Remember the famous saying, ‘this too shall pass’. It may not feel like it, but things will return to normal.

 

Source: MindSpot

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

Last updated 24 July 2020

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What you can do during coronavirus

Coronavirus – what you can do now

To help stop the spread of coronavirus in Australia and keep you and your loved ones safe, there are some important things you can do now.

1. Make a booking before coming in

Whether you need a doctor or one of our many allied health staff (like psychologists and podiatrists), you must make an appointment before you come in to the clinic.

To do this, simply call 9304 0500. You also can book online for a doctor.

Consultations are currently being carried out over the phone or video, known as telehealth. For some services, however, you’ll need to come in. Either way, we’ll let you know.

2. Stay at home

Unless you have to leave your home for an essential reason (like coming to see us), please stay at home.

3. Wear a face covering

When leaving your home for an essential reason, you must wear a face covering (like a mask).

Make sure you wear a mask at the clinic. If you have children with you who aren’t wearing a mask, we may ask you to wait in your car until called.

See this page for more information on masks.

4. Wash your hands often

By doing this you eliminate viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

Watch the video below for the correct way to wash your hands with soap and water.

 

Want to see how germs can spread so easily?

In the following 10-minute video ‘experiment’, watch what happens when fake germs are placed on just a few kids’ hands. It’s a great reminder for all of us!

5. Cover your mouth and nose

Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.

This is because when someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus.

6. Keep your distance

In addition to practising good personal hygiene as basic measures against the coronavirus, you should also practise what is known as social distancing.

This involves staying at least one and a half metres away from other people, especially if they’re coughing or sneezing.

Do your bit by avoiding handshaking and other physical greetings, and try to do your shopping online if you can.

7. Get tested and self-isolate

If you think you may have COVID-19, get tested and then self-isolate until you receive the all-clear.

Refer to this government website for more information about getting tested.

Woman with coronavirus

Get tested if you’re feeling unwell.

8. Stay safe in our clinic

When you come to our clinic, please don’t bring additional people into the waiting room.

If a family member needs help with translating, it’s best to do it over the phone. If you really need to accompany a family member, do the translating on the phone from inside your car and then come in if there are any issues.

If you have a child, bring your own items (e.g. toy, iPad) for your child to play with. This is because we’ve removed our toys from the waiting room.

Every little thing helps to stop the spread of the virus.

9. Practise good health habits

Changes to our daily lives, like social distancing, can affect our mental health, fitness and occupational health.

People are spending much more time in their home, so we need to try to adapt our daily lives.

Things like getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, drinking lots of water and eating nutritious foods are particularly important.

Here’s a great guide to help you navigate the change.

10. Look after yourself and each other

Staying healthy should be your number one priority right now. It’s also important to reach out to elderly relatives and neighbours to help them reduce their risk.

There are lots of myths about coronavirus. It’s therefore important that you keep following the advice of doctors and healthcare practitioners, as well as the state and federal government.

Together, we’ll get through this.

 

Source: Department of Health and World Health Organization

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

Last updated 24 July 2020

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Coronavirus

Coronavirus information

*If you have symptoms of coronavirus or you’ve recently been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus, please call us immediately. Don’t come to the clinic without calling us first.*

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a new virus that has spread into our community.

To ensure you’re best prepared, it’s important you read the following information.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste.

In some cases, symptoms may even include things like vomiting and diarrhoea.

How can you help prevent coronavirus?

There are numerous things you can do to protect you and your loved ones.

For example:

  • Stay at home (wear a mask if you have to leave your home for essential reasons)
  • Practise social distancing of at least 1.5 m
  • Practise good hygiene:
    • Clean your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing and sneezing
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who may be sick.

For more information on how you can stop the spread of coronavirus, please read this article.

Is there a cure or vaccine?

Currently there is no vaccine available to prevent coronavirus, and there’s no specific treatment to cure it.

People with more serious complications can be treated in hospital.

What should you do if you think you have coronavirus?

If you feel sick or you’ve recently been in close contact with someone who may have coronavirus, you should call us straight away.

Don’t come to the clinic without calling us first.

We’re here for you

Please don’t panic – we’re well prepared for virus outbreaks and here to help you.

If you have any questions or need to see us, please call 9304 0500.

For coronavirus updates, you can refer to the Victorian Government website or call the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

Last updated 24 July 2020

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Travel health tip - wash your hands

8 helpful travel health tips (how to stay safe overseas)

You’ve probably heard about the coronavirus by now.

Originating in China, it’s a new virus that can cause respiratory illness, including pneumonia.

There are thousands of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world, including Australia, and some people have even died (you can get the latest coronavirus updates here).

While our travel health checklist has tips to help you before you go overseas, we thought it was timely to provide advice on how to stay safe once you’ve actually arrived at your destination.

1. Keep your hands clean

Proper handwashing can protect you and others from a range of diseases.

Make sure you wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before eating, when handling food and after you use the toilet.

You could also carry hand sanitiser with you as a back-up, to help keep the germs at bay.

2. Avoid sick people

This might seem obvious, but keep your distance from sick people.

And, keep your immune system strong by drinking lots of water, eating a balanced diet and sleeping well.

3. Think before you eat and drink

Getting gastro overseas is common. But you can try to minimise the dreaded ‘traveller’s diarrhoea’!

While a glass of soft drink might be safe, the ice in the glass could be made with contaminated water.

High-risk foods include raw meat and seafood, salads and unpasteurised dairy products.

4. Don’t get too drunk

The alcohol content of drinks varies between countries. So, a vodka soda in Europe could be twice as strong as what you drink here.

When you’re drunk, you might drop your guard and become an easy target for petty criminals, or worse. It’s not worth the risk.

(As an aside – if you need help with a drinking problem please contact us.)

5. Avoid wild and feral animals

The coronavirus is believed to have started in an animal market in central China.

So, when you’re overseas, avoid areas such as farms, live animal markets, and areas where animals are slaughtered, including fish and seafood.

If you do come into contact with animals or animal products, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you have thoroughly cleaned your hands.

Some overseas destinations, like Bali and Thailand, are known for their street dogs and wild monkeys. Many of these animals have rabies, and if you’re bitten, it could be fatal.

Luckily, you can get immunised for rabies before you go. And remember to stay abreast with Smartraveller updates too!

6. Protect yourself from insects

Similar to wild animals, our insect friends can wreak havoc on our health if we’re not careful.

In many parts of the world, the bite of infected mosquitoes can spread infectious diseases including yellow fever, malaria and dengue fever.

Travel health tip: protect yourself by wearing mosquito repellent, and have a chat with us about vaccinations or medications you can take.

7. Protect yourself against the sun

We know how hot it can get in Australia. But the sun can also hit you in many countries overseas!

Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, and reapply when necessary. There are other ways you can protect your skin from the sun too.

8. Have safe sex

Condoms are not just for stopping pregnancy – they’re to help protect you from sexually transmissible infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS.

The rate of STIs in some countries is very high. So, if you’re sexually active, carry condoms with you.

When you return

Pay close attention to your health in the fortnight after you get back from overseas. If you’re feeling unwell you should see your doctor.

And remember, our team can assist with all your travel health requirements including vaccinations. Stay safe and happy travels!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel, Smartraveller, Department of Health

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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