We have been watching the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic closely and decided that it was important to inform our patients, especially in light of the current media reporting.
There have been 6 coronaviruses to date that have been detected, including the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). To help put the current severity of COVID-19 into perspective with other coronaviruses these are the comparison infection and mortality rates to MERS and SARS.
- SARS (2002) affected 8096 people with a mortality rate of 10%
- MERS (2012) affected 2494 people with a mortality rate of 37%.
As COVID-19 continues to evolve, the numbers of those infection and the associated mortality rates will fluctuate however, the mortality rate at the time of writing this appears to be lower than that of SARS. Reducing the spread of COVID-19 is currently the key objective and primary concern, meaning patients shouldn’t feel alarmed but they should exercise common sense and good hygiene practices including, washing your hands regularly, not touching your face and maintaining a 1.5m distance to others to aid in controlling the spread of the virus.
The symptoms patients needs to be aware of are:
- A fever with or without acute respiratory symptoms
- Acute respiratory symptoms include a dry cough, shortness of breathe, difficulty breathing.
Those at risk are patients who have travelled internationally in the last 14 days before the onset of symptoms or, who have had close contact in the last 14 days before the onset of symptoms with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
If patients fit this profile they need to be tested for COVID-19 and call the health department on 1300 651 160.
We therefore kindly ask that any patients who fit the case profile above with appointments at the clinic, call and notify our receptionist to reschedule their appointment and then seek medical attention. We thank you for your understanding in these interesting times.