All About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
What is Covid-19 and what are the symptoms?
It is a new strain of Coronavirus so we have no natural defenses against it. Most have mild symptoms, but some will be affected more severely. Common symptoms are:
- Cough and trouble breathing
- Sore throat
How does Covid-19 spread and how do I avoid catching it?
When an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks they spread droplets containing the virus. To avoid catching it:
- Avoid close contact with people with cold or flu-like illnesses
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes
- Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or into your elbow
- Clean surfaces regularly with a bleach based cleaner
- Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly:
- After coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
- Before eating or handling food
- After using the toilet
- After caring for sick people
How do you treat Covid-19?
Covid-19 is a virus so antibiotics do not help. As yet there is no cure and treatment is to manage symptoms. People with mild to moderate illness should stay at home in self isolation, drink plenty of fluids and may take paracetamol to reduce aches and pains.
Dehydration and trouble breathing are severe symptoms that require medical assistance. If you are worried that you have Covid-19 or that you are displaying severe symptoms then:
- Stay at home and contact the free 24/7 Healthline on 0800 358 5453
- Please do not present to the medical centre without phoning first
This prevents spread of the infection to other vulnerable patients and keeps our staff safe so that we can stay open to serve the community.
What is Self-Isolation?
This means staying at your property and not being in contact with other people including others in your household unless they are in isolation too. You must not go to work, to school/university, to the supermarket, to faith-based gatherings like Church, to rest-homes or medical facilities, sports gatherings, restaurants or on public transport.
Speak to your neighbours and friends now and see if you could help each other if one of you was to be isolated. Remember that supermarkets can deliver food – ask for the food to be left on your doorstep.
Have a think about how you might occupy yourself and your children. Get some books, DVDs and games. Don’t panic buy, but ensure that you have enough dry food to last for 2 weeks.
What is Aspiring Medical Centre doing to make visits safe?
- We are asking patients with fever and respiratory symptoms, who have travelled overseas, or patients that may have been in contact with Covid-19, to call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 and not come to the Medical Centre.
- We have set up a Covid-19 working group. This group is meeting frequently to make ongoing changes to our procedures as the situation evolves
- ConnectMed, our online booking system, has been updated to ask screening questions of patients booking appointments online.
- We will be encouraging people to book phone consultations where appropriate so that they do not come into the building. Normal consult charges will apply for this.
- We are prioritizing appointments for our more vulnerable patients. Please notify reception if you are one of the following and they will arrange an appointment for you:
- having your baby or child immunised
- are on medicines that lower your immune system
- have bad heart disease or kidney disease
- have diabetes
- have known breathing issues like asthma or COPD
- have cancer
- We are asking all patients to use hand sanitiser on arrival and departure.
- We have removed magazines and toys from our waiting and consult rooms to allow surfaces to be cleaned more easily. Please bring a book to read or a toy for your child to play with whilst you are waiting.
- Please ensure that you have a 4-week supply of your regular medications. We will not be providing scripts earlier than this as we don’t want to create medication shortages.
- We encourage people to get their flu vaccine. These will be available in April.
- We are creating educational material to provide to patients so that they feel prepared when we start seeing cases of Covid-19 locally.
- We will be providing information to the community via the media and our website.
- For information about international travel see safetravel.govt.nz
- For up to date information about Covid-19 visit the Ministry of Health’s website https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus