As you will be aware, the world is experiencing an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Obviously, the situation is evolving, but the information that has emerged about the virus so far suggests that the appropriate response is to be informed and aware but not alarmed.
The symptoms of coronavirus, which are thought to take about 5 days to develop after infection, are cold/flu like symptoms, particularly a fever followed by a dry cough, sore throat and a headache.
World Health Organization data shows that 80% of infected people only develop mild symptoms from which they recover quickly. It seems that older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes are at most risk of serious infection.
Pregnant women appear to be no worse affected by coronavirus than other women of the same age. As far as we know, the virus is NOT transmitted from a mother-to-be to her unborn baby. At the moment, the data on breastfeeding is inconclusive.
Data suggests that children appear to be relatively unaffected by the virus. For most children, coronavirus will appear as a standard respiratory infection and will be no cause for alarm.
Happily, there are a couple of simple but effective steps you can take to reduce your risk of catching coronavirus:
- wash your hands regularly and effectively as soon as you come from public places to your home or workplace – avoid touching your eyes, face and mouth until your hands are clean
- cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow – if you use a tissue, dispose of it carefully
- avoid people who are coughing or sneezing.
So that we can maintain the highest levels of safety for our patients and our staff, please call the WOGS rooms before coming in if you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus or if you have recently travelled overseas.
Where possible, please avoid bringing unnecessary visitors to hospital. This includes antenatal appointments and visits to mother and baby after birth.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has produced the following information and advice: