Corona Virus Pandemic
Friends, this highly infectious virus is marching into our country with amazing speed and even as you read this article you will be updated by News Bulletins and Government Health Announcements. I will keep my comments this day in a general sense. Pharmacists in Research are urgently trying to find Antiviral combinations that might defeat the Covid-19 strain. There are some positive signs for a cure and preventative vaccines but more research and development is required and this takes time.
Pharmacies are under enormous strain at this time as we try to source medicines for you and handle the constant questions and concerns that you have. I hope that you will understand if we have to restrict entry to our shops or supply of some medicines. Our aim is to be able to serve you all the way through Winter and assist all our Community.
Antibiotics are medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria, and as I wrote last month, many bacteria are now resistant to antibiotics. Covid-19 is a Virus, just like Influenza ‘the Flu’, and not a Bacterium.
So, what can you do? Prevention – the best weapon against Flu
The formulation of influenza vaccine for use in Australia is determined by the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee based on information and recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO). As in previous years, the Australian Government will provide flu vaccine free of charge to everyone 65 years plus; and those people qualifying for the “free allocation” also include pregnant women, indigenous people 15 years and over, and anyone six months of age and over with a condition “pre-disposing to severe influenza illness” – such as heart or lung diseases.
Most children cope pretty well with the flu, but young children are especially vulnerable to new strains of the flu such as the “swine flu” which was first identified in 2009. Vaccinations for over-6 months old assists their immune response.
You must keep away from other people.
Please consider staying very healthy. Keep active, sleep well and eat well.
YOU MUST CLEAN & DISINFECT:
KEY PRINCIPLES FOR CLEANING:
1. Using a Detergent (recommended for routine cleaning)
• A detergent is a surfactant that facilitates the removal of dirt and organic matter. They also disable most bacteria and viruses
• Most hard surfaces can be adequately cleaned with warm water and a neutral detergent as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Allowing the cleaned surfaces to dry is an important aspect of cleaning
• Routine cleaning of floors with detergent and water is recommended Ask your Pharmacist what is appropriate.
2. Using a Disinfectant
• A disinfectant is a chemical agent that rapidly kills or inactivates most infectious agents.
• Disinfectants are not to be used as general cleaning agents, unless combined with a detergent as a combination cleaning agent
• Disinfection should always be undertaken following, and in addition to, detergent cleaning
• Common Disinfectants are Chlorine & Chlorine Products, Hydrogen Peroxide, Quaternary Ammonium Compounds & Phenolic Compounds. Ask your Pharmacist what is appropriate.
YOU MUST WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY:
Teach your family to scrub your hands with a brush and soap and warm water for at least 2 minutes or play a song and continue washing until it is finished. Make sure that you scrub under fingernails and between the finger webs and up to the wrist.
You can very simply and effectively boil many objects and materials in water and continue to boil for just 5 minutes.
WASTE MANAGEMENT There are no additional controls required for disposing waste.
Waste generated in the community/home should follow routine processes for disposal. Dispose of general waste into home waste.
The greatest concern for doctors and patients alike is the danger, not just of any flu itself, but of severe complications such as pneumonia and the effect of influenza on existing medical conditions. People with chronic heart, kidney or lung disease, diabetes or other long-term illnesses are particularly at risk. The stress caused by influenza can worsen these conditions and even cause premature death.
Today, prevention is our major weapon against influenza. You can help protect yourself by regularly washing your hands, personal hygiene and making sure your lifestyle is healthy with regular exercise you enjoy and a daily diet that includes the widest possible variety of foods. And, of course, annual vaccination against the flu is recommended for all people in high risk categories.
Everyone 65 years or older should have the flu vaccine. As well, at any age, you should be vaccinated if you have an ongoing illness such as diabetes, kidney disease, asthma, heart or circulation problems, or compromised immunity as a result of HIV, cancer or longer-term steroid use. Your doctor or Piggott’s Pharmacist can give you more details.
Each year in Australia, influenza causes an estimated 3,000 deaths in older people. Now there is also a special effort to ensure people who might spread the infection to the above groups are vaccinated. This includes health workers – doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, carers and even children.
For more advice about whether the flu vaccine is right for you speak with your Doctor or Ask Piggotts!