All you need to know about coronavirus

As the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus grows, it’s important to try and understand the disease and its potential impact. Over 4000 cases have been reported globally including 6 confirmed cases in Australia. With each new case experts are gaining greater knowledge of the disease.

What are the symptoms?

People with the virus might look and feel like they have the flu. The severity of the illness is wide-ranging. It is influenced by a person’s age and medical history. Currently, the median age of people with the virus is 57 years old. Experts state you could feel anything from ‘very, very ill’ to just ‘mildly unwell’. Getting an accurate diagnosis is crucial.

Who’s in danger?

Based on information from China, experts suggest the virus is more likely to be fatal with people with breathing problems. The good news is currently the death rate is only around 5 percent or less and none in Australia.

Are you likely to contract it?

Authorities are looking at people who travelled to the province of Hubei, and then those who have travelled on flights with people diagnosed. According to the US Centers for Disease Control coronaviruses are generally thought to spread through respiratory droplets. A similar way to influenza and other respiratory illnesses. But so far in Australia, no human-to-human transmissions of the disease have occurred as all cases visited Wuhan.

Treatment

Presently, there is no specific treatment for the coronavirus but people can be treated with other medications that might help. In the instance the medication was unavailable via commercial supplies, compound chemists around the country could step in to help meet demand.

Last year, during the influenza epidemic, National Custom Compounding did just that compounding Oseltamivir for doctors direct. All compounding chemists in Australia, including ours, are highly regulated and the standards set by the government in terms of safety and quality are extremely high. So, when we make up a medication it’s as good as what comes out of the commercial manufacturer’s box.

What now?

  • Like always, maintain top hygiene practices:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Keep your hand as clean as possible (wash with soap or alcohol-based sanitiser)
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work and school
  • Wear a face mask if you are concerned and are experiencing flu-like symptoms

While there are still many questions, and many unknowns about coronavirus people should be confident Australian health experts are keeping on top of the situation and will keep the public informed. For more information from health authorities visit https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov.

 

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