It follows the peak in deaths from the illness at the end of July. While at the time of writing (6 September 2022) the winter wave was slowing down, the virus is still a risk to health.
Let’s take a look at the campaign and find out more about how to prevent infection from the Covid-19 virus.
What’s the new campaign about?
The campaign reminds us to take steps to protect ourselves, others and the healthcare system. Covid-19 safety measures include:
- Wear a face mask when indoors or in enclosed spaces.
- If you cough or sneeze, catch it in a tissue or the inside of your bent elbow and wash your hands afterwards.
- Don’t forget to practise physical distancing. Stay 1.5 metres away from people who are not in your household and avoid physical greetings like handshakes or kisses.
- If you show Covid-19 symptoms — for example, coughing, sneezing or fever — take a test that you can do at home and stay home until you know the result.
- If your test is positive, you must isolate at home. This is usually for seven days, but each state and territory will have their own rules. Check out the rules where you are here.
- Keep practising great hand hygiene. Wash your hands on a regular basis with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep your hands germ-free in between washing by using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
More updates on other infections in Australia
Of course, these safety measures apply to preventing the spread of other infections too.
As well as Covid-19 still being a concern, the Australian government has recently issued health alerts on two other infections. These are monkeypox and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV).
Statistics published on 8 September 2022 show 129 cases of monkeypox in Australia.
The disease can spread from animals to humans or between people through:
- Close contact with the sores, rashes or blisters on the skin
- Body fluids, including the droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes
- Contaminated items like towels or bed linen
It can also be spread to an unborn baby through the placenta.
You are more at risk of getting monkeypox if you have been in close contact with an infected person or have travelled to countries with confirmed cases. These include the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, where the virus is widespread.
The symptoms of monkeypox include:
- A rash or skin lesions that may develop into blisters or sores
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Aches and pains
You should isolate and get medical advice immediately if you think you have monkeypox.
Treatment is usually about soothing the symptoms of monkeypox. But if you are severely affected, you may be offered antiviral therapy or a vaccine.
You can reduce the spread of monkeypox by:
- Isolating from others if you have monkeypox until your sores are clear
- Avoiding touching items such as towels or cutlery that have been used by a person with monkeypox
- Practising good hand hygiene, which includes handwashing with soap and water and using sanitiser
- Wearing a face mask if you are infected and need to see other people — for example, if you have a doctor’s appointment
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV)
The latest statistics (published on 8 September 2022) showed 40 cases of JEV in Australia.
The virus causes the disease Japanese encephalitis and is spread through mosquito bites.
While it is not spread from human to human, you should still follow the good hygienic practices described earlier in the article.
People who get Japanese encephalitis may not have any symptoms. Or they may show these signs of the disease:
- A sudden fever
If you think you may have Japanese encephalitis, you should get medical help straight away.
There is no specific treatment for Japanese encephalitis. Symptoms can be relieved by resting, drinking plenty of fluids and taking paracetamol for fever or pain.
If you are severely affected, you may be looked after in hospital.
You can reduce the risk of being affected by JEV by getting a vaccination and avoiding being bitten by mosquitoes. This is more important if you are travelling to Asia or the Torres Strait region of Australia.
Play it safe to avoid getting sick
If you’re worried about Covid-19, safe practices are key. The same goes for other diseases that are causing concern in Australia, including monkeypox and Japanese encephalitis.
While the number of people with Covid-19 is declining and the other illnesses mentioned are rare, it’s still best to play it safe.
Know that FeverMates stocks a wide range of health and wellbeing products, including hand sanitiser, face masks and home testing kits, to keep you and your family safe.
By taking a few simple precautions with our products to help you, you can do your bit to keep Australia healthy!