Patient Education for Covid-19

If you have been given a diagnosis of Covid-19, care is generally supportive and similar to that advised for other acute viral illnesses:

  • We advise that patients stay well hydrated, particularly those patients with sustained or higher fevers.
  • Cough that is persistent, interferes with sleep, or causes discomfort can be managed with an over-the-counter cough medication.
  • We advise rest as needed during the acute illness; for patients without hypoxia, frequent repositioning and ambulation is encouraged. In addition, as the patient recovers, we encourage all patients to advance activity as soon as tolerated.

There is NO NEED for antiviral treatments, corticosteroids or antibiotics.

Self isolation procedures – If you have symptoms of coronavirus OR you have received a positive coronavirus test result, the clear medical advice is to immediately self-isolate at home for at least 7 days from when your symptoms started.

Consider alerting the people that you have had close contact within the last 48 hours to let them know you have symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19.

After 7 days, or longer, if you still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste, you must continue to self-isolate until you feel better. You do not need to self-isolate if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell/taste after 7 days, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone. All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill.

If you live with others, then everyone else in the household who remains well should end their isolation after 14 days. If anyone in the household becomes unwell during the 14-day period, they should arrange to have a test to see if they have COVID-19. If their test result is positive, they must follow the same advice for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms – that is, after 7 days of their symptoms starting, if they feel better and no longer have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste – they can also return to their normal routine. However, if their test result is negative, they must continue with isolation as part of the household for the full 14 days.

The following advice should be given to a person self-isolating to reduce the possible transmission to others:

  • Patients should stay in a specific room and use their own bathroom (if possible). Patients should avoid unnecessary travel and unnecessary contact with other people.  If they live in shared accommodation (university halls of residence or similar) with a communal kitchen, bathroom(s) and living area, they should stay in their room with the door closed, only coming out when necessary, wearing a surgical mask if they do so.
  • Where contact is unavoidable, the patient should wear a surgical mask, and maintain a distance of at least 1 metre (preferably 2 metres) from other people.
  • Patients should clean their hands with soap and water frequently. Alcohol-based sanitizers may also be used, provided they contain at least 70% alcohol.
  • Patients should practice good cough and sneeze hygiene, by using a tissue, and then immediately discarding the tissue in a lined trash can, followed by washing hands immediately.
  • Patients should not have visitors in their home. Only those who live in their home should be allowed to stay.
  • Patients should avoid sharing household items like dishes, cups, eating utensils and towels. After using any of these, the items should be thoroughly washed with soap and hot water.
  • All high-touch surfaces like table tops, counters, toilets, phones, computers, etc. should be appropriately and frequently cleaned.
  • If patients need to wash laundry at home before the PCR results are available, then they should wash all laundry at the highest temperature compatible for the fabric using laundry detergent. This should be above 60° C. If possible, they should tumble dry and iron using the highest setting compatible with the fabric. Disposable gloves and a plastic apron should be used when handling soiled materials if possible and all surfaces and the area around the washing machine should be cleaned. Laundry should not be taken to a laundrette. The patient should wash his/her hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling dirty laundry (remove gloves first if used).
  • Patients should know who to call if they develop any worsening symptoms, so that they can be safely reassessed.

5 ways to look after your mental health during lockdown

 

We are currently experiencing a collective traumatic experience which is incredibly overwhelming. Living through such uncertainty can bring up our darkest thoughts and fears. It is important to understand that this experience of uncertainty and anxiety will bring up past traumas and fears, it magnifies our worries and we may begin to regress. Regression happens as our unconscious attempts to take us back to times where we felt safe and protected. It is a defense mechanism that appears in response to stressful situations. We may find that our children have regressed developmentally or that we may be seeking solace in old songs, movies and books. These are all normal responses to the abnormal situation we find ourselves in. In an attempt to process this difficult time, it may help to try follow these steps to look after your mental health during lockdown.

 

  1. Manage your expectations

Understand the limitations you have now. This time may not bring out the master chef in you. Balancing life might feel overwhelming now, so understand your situation and the needs you have. A basic routine will help to manage your workload. There will be days where you have to be more flexible, allow yourself the freedom to understand and accept this. Set yourself weekly goals to keep up to date with deadlines.

 

  1. Find something creative to do daily

Creativity has been shown to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Creativity can be expressed in many ways. Challenging yourself to journal, draw, photograph something can be a powerful cathartic experience. Cooking and gardening can be creative challenges. Use what you have to allow yourself to find joy in being creative. You will be surprised at how healing it can be!

 

  1. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness involves being present without judgement in the moment. Allow yourself to find moments of mindfulness throughout your day. A few minutes spent breathing in silence can help calm your mind and body. A mindful walk allows you to notice the beauty that surrounds you and can help shift your perspective. Mindfully eating a meal can be a great experience for the whole family. Focusing on being present in the moment can be a powerful way to connect to your thoughts and feelings. Be present with your children, use this time to notice their quirks and to witness their individuality.

 

  1. Move your body

Find ways to move your body in doing things you enjoy. Morning walks can be a great way to start your day and to establish a routine. Gentle stretching can ease your muscles and can be done between meetings. Playing with your pets can provide fun for the whole family. Dancing to your favourite songs is a fun way to move in a carefree way.

 

  1. Communicate

Being away from loved ones is difficult. Finding ways to communicate and connect with them can ease the longing you feel. Virtual visits are better than nothing. Video call your friends and record moments for those who are missing out by being away. Communicate the difficult feelings too. It’s important to find ways to speak about these feelings and fears. Remember that your mental health needs to be protected now more than ever. Psychologists are offering teletherapy now and this is a great way to manage these overwhelming thoughts and feelings.

 

Be kind to yourself and those around you. If you feel you are not coping, you can set up an appointment with Juliana on juliana@yourpsychologist.co.za.

Malaria Map of South Africa

Avoiding mosquito bites

Precautions that can be taken when entering a malaria endemic area;

  • Mosquitoes which carry malaria generally bite between dusk and dawn. Close windows and doors and remain indoors during this time.
  • Use insect repellent on exposed skin. Lotions and spray options are available. Generally, apply before the sun sets, and reapply before climbing into bed.
  • Spray your accommodation with an aerosol insecticide, or use other approved indoor mosquito repellent methods (burning coils, mosquito mats, etc.).
  • Wear long-sleeved, light-coloured clothing, long trousers and socks.
  • Sleep under a bed-net or in a netted tent or use screens to prevent mosquitoes from flying in.

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Common Myths Regarding Malaria

  • “It is better not to take any prophylaxis, as it masks the symptoms and makes diagnosis difficult”

This is incorrect. Prophylactic drugs suppress parasite development, and therefore, even if not totally effective (due to partial drug resistance or non-compliance), symptoms tend to take longer to appear, may be less severe at first and development of complications is retarded. In the complete absence of drugs, parasites are able to multiply at phenomenal rates, and malaria can quickly get out of hand, and lead to severe complications and death.

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HPV Vaccine (“Cervical Cancer Vaccine”)

Two vaccines are available to prevent the human papillomavirus (HPV) types that cause most cervical cancers. These vaccines are the bivalent vaccine (Cervarix) and the quadrivalent vaccine (Gardasil). Both vaccines are given in 3 injections over a 6-month period.

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Yellow fever information sheet

  •  Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes.
  • Up to 50% of severely affected persons without treatment will die from yellow fever.
  • The virus is endemic in tropical areas of Africa and South America.
  • The number of yellow fever cases has increased over the past two decades due to declining population immunity to infection, deforestation, urbanization, population movements and climate change.
  • There is no cure for yellow fever. Treatment is symptomatic, aimed at reducing the symptoms for the comfort of the patient.
  • Vaccination is the most important preventive measure against yellow fever. The vaccine is safe, affordable and highly effective. The vaccine provides effective immunity within one week for 95% of persons vaccinated.
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Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

What is hand foot and mouth (HFM) disease?

Hand foot and mouth disease (HFM) is a viral infection characterized by fever and a typical rash most frequently seen on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and inside the mouth. It should not be confused with foot (hoof) and mouth disease that affects cattle, sheep, and swine. HFM is caused by several members of the enterovirus family of viruses. The most common cause is Coxsackie virus A16.

What are the symptoms and signs of hand foot and mouth disease?

Initial symptoms of mild fever and malaise are followed within one or two days by a characteristic rash. Small (2 mm-3 mm) red spots that quickly develop into small blisters appear on the palms, soles, and oral cavity. The gums, tongue, and inner cheek are most commonly involved. Oral lesions are commonly associated with a sore throat and reduced appetite.

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Fever in children

Fever itself is not life-threatening unless it is extremely and persistently high. Fever may indicate the presence of a serious illness, but usually a fever is caused by common infections which are not necessarily serious.

The part of the brain called the hypothalamus controls body temperature. The hypothalamus increases the body’s temperature as a way to fight the infection. However, many conditions other than infections may cause a fever.

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Patient.co.uk

  • Patient information resource

Patient.co.uk is one of the most trusted medical resources in the UK, supplying evidence based information on a wide range of medical and health topics to patients and health professionals.

www.patient.co.uk

Vascular surgery

Vascular surgery is a specialty of surgery in which diseases of the vascular system, or arteries and veins, are managed by medical therapy, minimally-invasive catheter procedures, and surgical reconstruction.

Conditions treated include:

  • Varicose veins
  • Aneurysms
  • Peripheral vascular diseases – blockages of arteries outside of the heart
  • Renal failure patients requiring dialysis
  • Deep vein thrombosis

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Yellow Fever vaccination requirements and Malaria risk for individual Countries

The information provided for each country includes the country’s stated requirements for yellow fever vaccination, WHO recommendation for travellers regarding yellow fever vaccinations, and details concerning the malaria situation and recommended prevention of the disease.

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Vision Centre

Learn about eye conditions and vision correction practices.

www.visioncenter.org