Important coronavirus (Covid-19) update for our stroke community

20 March 2020

What you need to know about coronavirus

People who have had a Stroke should be aware that, just like with the flu, they are at a higher risk of severe symptoms and complications from coronavirus.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person.

To help stop the virus spreading, everyone should practice good hygiene, and sneeze and cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses.

You should:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water before and after eating and after going to the toilet.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Practice social distancing - avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).
  • To help slow the spread, the Australian Government has advised, organised, outside non-essential gatherings of 500 people or more and inside non-essential gatherings of more than 100 people should be suspended. 
  • To protect vulnerable Australians, the Government has also advised reducing visitors to all residential aged care facilities and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 
  • Government has advised Australians not to travel overseas, those who are overseas have been advised to come home and the borders of Australia have been closed to people who are not Australian citizens or residents.  .  

This advice does not include workplaces, schools, universities, shops, supermarkets, public transport and airports.

Who is most at risk of a serious illness? Some people who are infected may not get sick at all, some will get mild symptoms from which they will recover easily, and others may become very ill, very quickly. From previous experience with other coronaviruses, the people at most risk of serious infection are:

  • People with compromised immune systems (e.g. Cancer).
  • Elderly people.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they have higher rates of chronic illness.
  • people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions (such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Respiratory Disease, Kidney Disease, Cardiovascular disease (Stroke & Heart Disease).
  • People in group residential settings.
  • People in detention facilities.


At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population.

Availability of medicines

The Department of Health has advised that there are no current shortages or supply issues medicines. People with medical conditions are advised to order and obtain your medicines and supplies as usual. There is no need to stockpile.

What should you do if you feel unwell?

If you experience symptoms of coronavirus you should seek medical attention.

The Department of Health provides the following advice:

“Call ahead of time to book an appointment. Tell your doctor about your symptoms, travel history and any recent close contact with someone who has coronavirus.

If you must leave home to see your doctor, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others. If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) for urgent medical help.”

Symptoms

People with coronavirus may experience:

  • Fever.
  • Coughing.
  • Sore throat.
  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath. 


Want more information?

It is important to we all have the correct and up-to-date medical advice and reports.

The World Health Organisation and Australian Government are updating the links below daily. We suggest, monitoring their recommendations and act accordingly.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

If you have questions about coronavirus, please call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. The helpline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There is a large amount of unverified information circulating on social media. It is important that you seek information on coronavirus from trusted sources.

Visit the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Information Page listed above. This page is regularly updated with the latest information.

Important coronavirus (Covid-19) update for our stroke community

16 March 2020

What you need to know about coronavirus

People who have had a Stroke should be aware that, just like with the flu, they are at a higher risk of severe symptoms and complications from coronavirus.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person.

To help stop the virus spreading, everyone should practice good hygiene, and sneeze and cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses. You should:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water before and after eating and after going to the toilet.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • If unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people).
  • To protect vulnerable Australians, the Government has also advised reducing visitors to all residential aged care facilities and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Currently, Australia does not have widespread community transmission of COVID-19. To help slow the spread, the Australian Government has advised, effective from Monday 16 March, organised, non-essential gatherings should be limited to 500 people.  

Non-essential meetings or conferences of critical workforces, such as health care professionals and emergency services, should also be limited. This advice does not include workplaces, schools, universities, shops, supermarkets, public transport and airports.

Who is most at risk of a serious illness? Some people who are infected may not get sick at all, some will get mild symptoms from which they will recover easily, and others may become very ill, very quickly. From previous experience with other coronaviruses, the people at most risk of serious infection are:

  • People with compromised immune systems (e.g. Cancer).
  • Elderly people.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as they have higher rates of chronic illness;
  • people with diagnosed chronic medical conditions (such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Respiratory Disease, Kidney Disease, Cardiovascular disease (Stroke & Heart Disease).
  • People in group residential settings.
  • People in detention facilities.


At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population.

Availability of medicines

The Department of Health has advised that there are no current shortages or supply issues medicines. People with medical conditions are advised to order and obtain your medicines and supplies as usual. There is no need to stockpile.

What should you do if you feel unwell?

If you experience symptoms of coronavirus you should seek medical attention.

The Department of Health provides the following advice:

“Call ahead of time to book an appointment. Tell your doctor about your symptoms, travel history and any recent close contact with someone who has coronavirus.

If you must leave home to see your doctor, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others. If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) for urgent medical help.”

Symptoms

People with coronavirus may experience:

  • Fever.
  • Coughing.
  • Sore throat.
  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath. 

Traveling and Visitors

In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have recently been in a high risk country/region and people who have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus.

If you have returned from a country or region that is at higher risk for COVID-19, you cannot attend work if you work in a setting with vulnerable people.

On Friday 13 March, the Australian Government advised people to reconsider any non-essential international travel.

The government impose a universal self-isolation requirement on all arrivals to Australia and it is effective from midnight 15 March 2020. Conditions are changing rapidly, and further updates are likely.

Want more information?

It is important to we all have the correct and up-to-date medical advice and reports.

The World Health Organisation and Australian Government are updating the links below daily. We suggest, monitoring their recommendations and act accordingly.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

If you have questions about coronavirus, please call the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. The helpline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There is a large amount of unverified information circulating on social media. It is important that you seek information on coronavirus from trusted sources.

Visit the Australian Government’s Coronavirus Information Page listed above. This page is regularly updated with the latest information.