With COVID circumstances, hospital admissions and deaths resurging, each Australian must know what they’ll do to cut back their threat of changing into significantly unwell.
Final week, Minister for Well being and Aged Care Mark Butler suggested Australians who’re at greater threat of changing into significantly unwell with COVID to seek the advice of their GPs and make a plan for what they are going to do if they’re contaminated.
However what must you ask your GP? And what info are you able to present them with to make sure you have a COVID plan in place and may entry the best remedy whenever you want it?
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Antivirals for delicate circumstances
Two oral COVID therapies can be found on the Pharmaceutical Advantages Scheme to be used at residence by individuals who have been identified with delicate COVID sickness and who’re at elevated threat of changing into significantly unwell: Lagevrio and Paxlovid.
To scale back the danger of development to extreme illness and hospitalisation, these therapies have to be began as quickly as doable, inside 5 days of when signs begin.
Nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir (Paxlovid) is the simpler of those two therapies however it could have advanced interactions with many widespread medicines.
Figuring out whether or not an individual qualifies for these therapies, whether or not the therapies are secure for them and giving applicable recommendation usually takes greater than 20 minutes in a session together with your GP.
You may cut back the stress on your self and in your GP and their apply by discussing these questions when you are effectively and earlier than any COVID an infection is suspected or detected.
A 6-step plan to remain in addition to doable
1. Discover a GP
For those who don’t but have a normal GP or normal apply, select one now and ask for an appointment of at the very least half-hour. The aim of this session is for the GP to achieve an understanding of your state of well being, and so you may make a plan collectively for what you and the GP will do in case you are contaminated with COVID.
Medicare advantages are payable in these circumstances just for in-person consultations – however you must attend the final apply solely in case you are effectively and never a detailed contact of somebody with COVID.
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2. Examine your eligibility
If you have already got a normal GP or apply, make an appointment with them and examine whether or not you might be eligible for PBS-subsidised oral antiviral remedy. Do you have to be identified with COVID an infection, you will need to be ready as remedy should begin as quickly as doable.
The eligibility standards for subsidised antiviral COVID therapies have not too long ago been expanded. Now folks aged 70 years and older can entry the therapies, as can folks over 50 with two or extra threat elements, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander folks over 30 with two or extra threat elements, and other people with compromised immunity who’re over 18.
For those who meet the standards, or you aren’t positive whether or not you might be in a better threat group, ask for an appointment together with your GP to examine eligibility and to make a plan.
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3. Get all of the COVID vaccinations you’re due
Have all doses of COVID vaccine beneficial to your age and well being standing, as quickly as you might be eligible for every dose. The at present beneficial numbers of doses are: two doses for youngsters aged 5 to fifteen years; three doses for adolescents and adults aged 16 to 29 (further doses are beneficial for youngsters and adolescents with disabilities or continual circumstances); three doses for adults aged 30 to 49 with an non-compulsory fourth dose; and 4 doses for adults over 50.
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4. Get your flu vaccine too
Have this yr’s influenza vaccine now you probably have not already obtained it. The influenza vaccine is beneficial for everyone over six months outdated and is out there from GPs and pharmacies.
The influenza vaccine could be given similtaneously a COVID vaccine. Some GPs and pharmacies cost a session or service charge for administering the vaccine.
For those who aren’t positive what number of doses of COVID vaccine you have got had or whenever you obtained them, or whether or not you have got had this yr’s influenza vaccine, you’ll be able to examine in your My Well being Document or you’ll be able to view your COVID vaccinations although your MyGov account that you’ve linked to Medicare. Your GP also can examine for you throughout a session.
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5. Masks up
Put on an efficient masks (ideally not a fabric one) in every single place you’ll be able to’t bodily distance your self from different folks. That is particularly necessary in indoor crowded locations, in addition to in locations the place masks are required akin to well being and aged care services. Proceed with hand hygiene too.
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6. Examine your drugs cupboard
Make a listing of the medicines (together with dietary supplements and over-the-counter medicine) that you simply’re taking and the way usually you’re taking them.
If you’ll be able to, examine on-line whether or not you might be utilizing any medicines which can be recognized to work together with COVID medicine. Some folks prescribed Paxlovid should cease or cut back the dose of a number of of their normal medicines whereas utilizing it. Others may not be capable of use Paxlovid safely, through which case one of many different remedy choices could be thought of.
The net software can generate and save a report with any recognized interactions between Paxlovid and your normal medicines. Then you’ll be able to e-mail or present that record to your GP after getting made an appointment for a session. Your GP may also be capable of examine potential drug interactions for you throughout your pre-COVID appointment.
I’m at residence with COVID. When do I have to see a physician? And what therapies can be found?
Oliver Frank doesn’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or organisation that might profit from this text, and has disclosed no related affiliations past their educational appointment.
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