COVID-19 is a serious disease that can affect anyone of all ages. If you or anyone you know develops symptoms of COVID-19 please get tested. We all need to work together to ensure that those who are vulnerable during this time can remain safe and protected.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which arose in December 2019. This disease is part of a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections such as the common cold.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on the 1st of December in 2019 and was later named SARS-CoV-2. It is believed to have originated in an animal and changed/mutated in a way so that it can cause illness in humans. This is not unusual as in the past various other infectious disease outbreaks have been traced to viruses originating in animals such as birds, pigs and bats, which all mutated to become dangerous to humans.
Research is continuing to be conducted to understand how and why the coronavirus evolved, as well as how it became a worldwide pandemic disease.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 can show symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Everyone is different and some people can have an easy and quick recovery, while others may get very sick very quickly. If you test positive for COVID-19 you may experience:
shortness of breath
Other symptoms include:
runny nose or congestion
headache or fatigue
muscle or joint pains
nausea or loss of appetite
diarrhoea or vomiting
temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste.
COVID-19 symptoms are similar to some common illnesses, such as colds and flu, or allergies.
The Australian government has released a fact sheet that helps identify symptoms of COVID-19 which can be accessed by clicking the following link: COVID-19: Identifying the symptoms.
In addition to this, a COVID-19 symptom checker has been created which can help you figure out whether you need to get tested or seek further medical help. This can be accessed by clicking the button below.
Getting Vaccinated Against COVID-19
At this practice we provide the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccine to both existing and new patients* for people aged 12 years and over. The Pfizer vaccine can only be provided as a booster vaccination for people who are 16 years or older AND have waited 3 months after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.
Children aged 5-11 years old can receive the Paediatric Pfizer vaccine which will be given with an 8 week interval between dose 1 and dose 2. Currently there is no booster vaccination available for this age group.
The Novavax vaccine will be provided to new and existing patients upon request who have not received dose 1 or dose 2 of the COVID-19 vaccines that have been previously available. Novavax has not been authorised to be given as a booster vaccine.
Further information regarding vaccination against COVID-19 can be found here.
*If you are a new patient, you will need to have a valid Medicare card to be vaccinated at this practice.
If you would like to learn more about the COVID-19 virus or the vaccines that are available then please have a look at these extra resources provided by the government and other helpful websites.
COVID-19 Disease Resources from the World Health Organisation (WHO)
COVID-19 Resources from the Australian Government
John Hopkins Medicine