Covid 19 – the basics of what you may want to know

Q. What is Covid 19?

It is a disease caused by SARS CoV2, which is the new version of the virus that caused SARS years ago.  Not everyone infected with it will get Covid 19 & some who do get it may have only  mild symptoms and be spreading it without realising.  There is said to be an incubation period of 2 weeks and period of infectiousness around 24-48 hours before symptom onset.  This is why it is so contagious compared with other viruses.

Q. What are the symptoms?

70% fever, also flu like symptoms, dry cough, sore throat, some reports of reduced taste/smell.  Check out this ‘symptom checker’ from a department of health website:

Q. When do I get tested?

You will only be tested if you have symptoms and have had close contact with a confirmed case in the past 2 weeks, have severe pneumonia, have returned from overseas in last 2 weeks with symptoms or are a healthcare worker with fever and symptoms.  If you are in doubt call the hotline for screening 1800 020 080.  

Q.  When do I see a doctor?

See medical advice if you have symptoms and need help but call in advance for screening & to make the booking.  Attend ED if you are short of breathe, severely unwell or unable to care for yourself at home and unwell.

Q. Im stressed out and struggling, how do I stay well?

You may be feeling anxious and worried about SARS CoV2 at the moment.  Please remember this is normal and appropriate and that you are not alone.  The most skilful way of managing these feelings is to use them as motivation to choose wisely.  All we can do is focus our energy on what we can control.  What we, as individuals, can control is our own behaviour.  

The best thing you can do right now is channel any worry into good hygiene practices, social distancing and checking in on your community to ensure everyone else is coping and ok.  We all need to be there for each other despite the physical distance.  We are in this together and everyones choices and actions make a difference.

If you want more info please use reputable sources of information like the department of health website

I am also really enjoying and appreciating Coronacast by ABC.  Its is an excellent daily update only 10mins each episode.