Author Archives: Practice Manager

Flu Season Has Arrived

Dear Patients, 

Hope you are well. Autumn has arrived so has the start of the flu season. Although we could get flu at any time of the year, the spread is more prevalent when the weather cools down. The peak of flu season in Australia is usually June to September.  

The last two flu seasons have been unusual in Australia due to the covid-19 pandemic; we have not seen many influenza cases and there has been lower uptake of the vaccine. Now that the borders are open and life is returning to normal, health experts are predicting a more severe flu season in 2022.  

What is the flu or Influenza? 
The Flu or Influenza is an acute viral illness. It is a highly contagious disease that mainly affects the respiratory system. It is caused by influenza viruses classified as type A, B or C. Only influenza A and B viruses are included in seasonal influenza vaccines as they cause the majority of disease in humans. 

How the virus spreads?  
Influenza spreads easily, mainly through large particle droplets produced by sneezing and coughing. Droplets containing the influenza virus also settle onto surfaces, and the virus can then pass from hands to the nose, mouth or eyes. People with influenza can be infectious to others from 24 hours before symptoms start until 1 week after the start of symptoms. In previously healthy individuals, symptoms typically subside within 5–8 days. 

Symptoms 
Influenza symptoms usually have a sudden onset. The most common symptoms are:  

  • fever  
  • dry non-productive cough  
  • nasal congestion  
  • headache  
  • sore throat  
  • body aches, fatigue and feeling generally unwell          

Older adults and young children can be more severely affected and develop atypical symptoms.  

Prevention 

  • Vaccination is the best protection against influenza and its complications 
  • Practising hand hygiene and cough etiquette (such as covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing) can help reduce the chances of getting and passing on the influenza virus.  
  • People who are sick with influenza should stay home from work, school and social gatherings to prevent close contact with and transmission to other people. 

Why is it necessary to receive another dose of the influenza vaccine each year? 
The influenza virus changes frequently. Each year, the dominant strains differ and a new vaccine is created to target the current strains. The vaccine is most effective for the first 3-4 months after vaccination (though it is expected to continue to offer some protection after this period).  

Can influenza vaccines cause the influenza? 
There is no live virus in the influenza shot, so you cannot get influenza from the vaccine. The vaccine can cause some mild “flu-like” side effects such as body aches, fever and fatigue which may be mistakenly thought to be an influenza infection. 

Who should be vaccinated? 
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all people aged ≥6 months unless contraindicated (refer to link for Contraindications).  

Influenza vaccination is strongly recommended for anyone travelling overseas in 2022.  

Free vaccine 
There are a number of groups that are at increased risk of influenza and its complications. Influenza vaccination is strongly recommended and funded on the National Immunisation Program for the following groups:  

  • Children 6 months to 5 years of age 
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people 
  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy) 
  • Adults ≥ 65 years of age – this age group receive different version of the vaccine which is designed to increase the immune response to the vaccine  
  • All individuals aged ≥ 5 years with medical risk conditions (Please refer to link)  

If you are not eligible for the free vaccine, the cost of one vaccine is $25.00. 

To book an appointment, please click the button below. 

Kind Regards, 

The Team from Randwick Doctors Medical Centre

Sources:  

Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin

Dear Patients,

With the change of seasons into Autumn, the team from Randwick Doctors Medical Centre would like to share some information on Vitamin D to ensure you maintain your optimum health to live your best life.  

What is Vitamin D? 

Vitamin D is a nutrient you need for good health. It helps your body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks for strong bones. Together with calcium, Vitamin D helps protect you from developing osteoporosis, a disease that thins and weakens the bones and makes them more likely to break. Your body needs Vitamin D for other functions too. Your muscles need it to move, and your nerves need it to carry messages between your brain and your body. Your immune system needs Vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. 

Sources of Vitamin D 

Small amounts of the Vitamin D you need can be obtained through food (about 5 – 10 per cent).  

  • Vitamin D is added to many breakfast cereals and to some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and other food products. 
  • Fatty fish (like trout, salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils are among the best natural sources of Vitamin D. 
  • Beef liver, egg yolks, and cheese have small amounts of Vitamin D. 
  • Mushrooms provide a little Vitamin D. 
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun (90%). Your body makes Vitamin D when your bare skin is exposed to the sun. Most people get at least some Vitamin D this way. However, clouds, pollution, old age, and having dark-coloured skin reduce the amount of Vitamin D your skin makes. Also, your skin does not make Vitamin D from sunlight through a window.  

What happens if I don’t have enough Vitamin D? 

Factors such as lockdown, working from home, decrease in exercise and outdoor activities have may lead to Vitamin D deficiency.  

Vitamin D deficiency does not always have obvious symptoms but without treatment there can be significant health effects. These can include bone and muscle pain and softening of the bones – such as rickets (in children) and osteomalacia (in adults) which can make bones easy to fracture or break.  

Which adult groups are at high risk of Vitamin D deficiency? 

  • Older or disabled people in low-level and high-level residential care, particularly those who are housebound, hospitalised community-dwelling geriatric patients. 
  • Dark-skinned people of either sex 
  • People with a disability or chronic disease (eg: multiple sclerosis) 
  • Fair-skinned people and those at risk of skin cancer and avoid sun exposure 
  • People working in an enclosed environment, such as office workers, factory or warehouse workers or night-shift workers. 

Do I need a Vitamin D Test? 

Vitamin D deficiency is done through a simple blood test by measuring a form of Vitamin D in your blood named 25-hydroxynitamin D (25-OHD).  

You may need a Vitamin D test if: 

  • you are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency or 
  • you have abnormal levels of calcium, phosphate or magnesium in your blood 
  • you have bone problems 
  • you have diseases that might result in, or be caused by, too much or too little Vitamin D  
  • you have problems with your parathyroid gland 

Please check with your doctor whether you need a Vitamin D test. 

Source: National Institutes of Health 
Source: Health Direct 
Source: The Medical Journal of Australia

Best wishes,

The Team from Randwick Doctors Medical Centre

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT)

Dear Patients,

The team from Randwick Doctors Medical Centre hopes you are staying safe and well, especially for those who are going back to the office or school. With the wide adoption of Rapid Antigen Tests (‘RAT’), following are some basic information about RAT from the NSW Health Department.  

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) 

What happens if I get a positive RAT result? 

If you get a positive RAT result and unsure of the next step, you may follow the guideline below. 

Test result Symptoms Exposure risk Next step 
  Known or unknown contact You are a confirmed case, follow the advice for people testing positive for COVID-19 
 Or  Known high risk or household contact You are a confirmed case, follow the advice for people testing positive for COVID-19 
  No known contact You may be a confirmed case. Take another rapid antigen test within 24 hours or have a PCR test 

What type of RAT should I use? 

The Therapeutic Goods Administration provides a full list of RAT kits approved in Australia and how to use each one correctly. Please refer to https://www.tga.gov.au/covid-19-rapid-antigen-self-tests-are-approved-australia 

How do I use a RAT kit? 

Each RAT differs slightly so please follow the instructions of the RAT you are using. NSW Health has provided a quick video on how to use a basic nasal test. Click Here to watch the video.  

Can I eat or drink before using a saliva sample RAT? 

The answer is, “No. NSW Health recommends you do not eat, drink or brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes before doing a saliva rapid antigen test. This will ensure a clean sample is taken.” 

For full information on RAT for Covid-19 from the NSW Health, please refer to: 

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/stay-safe/rapid-antigen-tests-for-covid-19

How do I register a positive RAT result? 

From 12 January 2022, people who test positive to a Covid-19 RAT at home must register with Service NSW. You do not need to register if you have had: 

  • A negative or invalid RAT result 
  • A positive PCR test in the 28 days before your positive RAT 

To understand your eligibility, what you need and how to register, please refer to: 

https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-positive-rapid-antigen-test-result

Booster Eligibility 

You are eligible for a booster vaccination if you: 

  • are fully vaccinated (have received 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine), 
  • are aged 16 and over, and 
  • have received your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago. 

For further information please see the NSW Government website Here. 

Welcoming New Doctors at Our Practice 

Please join us to welcome our new doctor in the clinic. We attached his bio and area of special interest.  Please do not hesitate to contact us should you like to know more about our doctors or book an appointment Here.

Dr Michael Joseph

Background – Michael is passionate about the importance of lifestyle in preventing disease and maintaining physical and mental wellbeing. Michael completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Bond University, before undertaking postgraduate medicine at the University of Norte Dame Sydney. Following this he completed his internship and residency at St George and Sutherland Hospital. He did two years of work as a senior surgical resident at Royal Prince Alfred hospital and also undertook rural experience in Griffith’s emergency department.
Special Interests – He has particular interests in the areas of dermatology, preventative medicine, women’s health and child wellbeing.  
Personal Interests – He is happily married with a son and enjoys cycling, surfing and scuba diving. 
Availability- Monday-Thursday: 8am-6pm 

Please take care and stay safe.  

Best wishes, 

The Team from Randwick Doctors Medical Centre 

What if I Test Positive to Covid-19?

Dear Patients,

First of all, on behalf of the team at Randwick Doctors Medical Centre, we would like to wish you a Happy New Year and we hope 2022 brings you good health, peace and abundance of joy.

With the rapid rising number of Covid-19 cases recently, we understand that you may be feeling anxious and unsure about how to manage if you test positive for Covid-19. This email provides some basic information and links to resources from NSW Health Department on the steps to take should you, a family member or a friend of yours be confirmed Covid-19 positive. We hope this information is helpful in assisting you to navigate through this unprecedented time.

Am I a high or low-risk patient?

There are a range of factors that increase the risk of serious illness should you contract Covid-19. Please refer to the link below for more information.

https://www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19/advice-for-groups-at-risk

Should I manage my illness at home once I have confirmed Covid-19 positive?

NSW Health website states “If you are under 65 years of age, have had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, do not suffer from any chronic health conditions and are not pregnant, you can safely manage COVID-19 at home”. Please refer to the fact sheet below for more information.

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/advice-for-confirmed.aspx

Please contact NSW Health COVID-19 Care at Home Support Line at 1800 960 933 or our clinic at (02) 8047 0988 to speak to one of the doctors if you are pregnant or have chronic conditions.

When can I be released from isolation?

The isolation period is 7 days from the day you test positive for COVID-19. AFTER 7 days, you can leave isolation if you have had no sore throat, runny nose, cough, or breathlessness in the last 24 hours of your isolation period. However, you should avoid visiting high risk settings such as healthcare, aged care, disability care or correctional facilities until more than 10 days and have no symptoms over the last 72 hours. Therefore, if it is less than 10 days from the day you test positive and you have any questions or feel unwell and need to talk to one of our doctors, please call our practice at (02) 8047 0988 and DO NOT attend the practice in person. Please refer to the link below for more information.

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/recovery.aspx

Who do I keep updated?

For your safety, NSW Heath advises you to appoint a support person during the isolation period. Please nominate a family member or friend, inform them you have Covid-19 and request them to contact you daily at agreed times to obtain an update of your conditions. Please take note this support person is not allowed to visit you in person.

Who do I call if I need assistance when isolating from home?

If you are self-isolating at home, you may call the NSW Health Home Support Line at 1800 960 933 or call our clinic at (02) 8047 0988 and ask to speak to one of our doctors. If it is a medical emergency, call 000 immediately and notify the help line you have Covid-19.

In addition to the above resource, here is the link to a useful resource from RACGP (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners).

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1m2KEgdgKvLJQwedErpPH2KsKSGa_19i7/view?usp=drivesdk

Please check our website regularly for child vaccination and booster appointments. We encourage you to check our website and book online instead of calling the practice as we are experiencing staffing shortages and a high volume of phone calls. Your cooperation is much appreciation.

Please take care and stay safe.

Best wishes,

The Team from Randwick Doctors Medical Centre

Covid-19 Vaccination Now Available for All Patients

Note: We are currently experiencing high demand for Booster Vaccinations, and deliveries are delayed due to the holiday period. Please check back online regularly to see if additional sessions have opened up. We are currently booked up until early February.

Randwick Doctors Medical Centre is now offering a Covid-19 vaccine booster dose using the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to individuals aged 18 and over at 5 months after their 2nd dose. This booster shot is important for strengthening protection against the virus and helping to protect you and your family.

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People aged 18 years and older may receive a booster at least five months after receiving their second dose of any of the Covid-19 vaccines registered for use in Australia (Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Moderna). The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine will be offered as the booster dose, regardless of the Covid-19 vaccine received for the first or second dose. If you had a severe reaction to an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) such as anaphylaxis or heart inflammation or you prefer to have the Astrazeneca vaccine and you had Astrazeneca for your first 2 doses, please make an appointment to discuss this with one of our GPs.

You can find the date of your 2nd dose on your Covid-19 Digital Certificate in the NSW Services app or Medicare app and if you require assistance, please contact the practice.

You may find more information about booster vaccination at NSW Government Health: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/vaccine/Pages/booster.aspx

To secure your future appointment, please book your Covid-19 Booster now by clicking on the Book Appointment button on our website. Thank you for doing your part to protect yourself and your community.