NSW Health warns of a rise in gastroenteritis among children

NSW Health is alerting parents and carers with young children about the need to carefully wash their hands and keep sick children at home amid a rise in viral gastroenteritis cases.

The warning has been prompted by gastroenteritis outbreaks at childcare centres across NSW and a high number of children aged under 5 seeking treatment for the highly-contagious infection.

The number of outbreaks at childcare centres reported to NSW Health is above average for this time of year, with 109 centres reporting that almost 1,000 children have been affected since February. More than 200 staff have also reportedly fallen ill during these outbreaks. 

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Joel Kozlowski
How to seek mental health support in our area

The Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network wrote a great article a few weeks back about mental health in the area and signs that you may need help, so we thought we would share here.

People often don’t know where to start to get the mental health services they need.

Your local GP or other health professionals can help connect you with the right mental health service, says Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD).

“Seeking help is often the first step towards getting and staying well, but it can be hard to know how to start or where to turn,” said District Community Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Manager Alison Thorne.

“It's common to feel unsure and to wonder whether you should try to handle things on your own. It is always ok to ask for help – even if you're not sure you are experiencing a specific mental health problem.

You might want to seek help if you're:

  • worrying more than usual

  • finding it hard to enjoy your life

  • having thoughts and feelings that are difficult to cope with, which have an impact on your day-to-day life

  • interested to find more support or treatment.

  • worried about someone that you live with or care for

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Joel Kozlowski
Measles alert for NSW!

A ninth case of measles has been detected in NSW after an infant acquired the infection while in South East Asia.

NSW Health once again urges people travelling to South East Asia where measles is prevalent to ensure they are fully vaccinated before heading overseas.

Outbreaks of measles in popular tourist destinations means the risk for measles being imported into Australia at the moment is high.

Measles is highly contagious and is spread in the air through coughing or sneezing by someone who is unwell with the disease.

Symptoms of measles include fever, sore eyes and a cough followed three or four days later by a red, blotchy rash spreading from the head and neck to the rest of the body. If you develop these symptoms please call ahead to your GP so that you do not wait in the waiting room with other patients.

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Joel Kozlowski
Amoebic meningitis warning for NSW as temps remain high

People are urged to take precautions to avoid potentially fatal amoebic meningitis from Naegleria fowleri.

Direct link to the official media release January 2019: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/Pages/20190109_01.aspx

With summer in full swing, parents are being urged to take precautions around untreated or poorly treated water to protect children from deadly amoebic meningitis.

At particular risk are people in rural areas who have their own tank, dam or bore water supply, such as those living on farms, and people with poorly maintained swimming pools.

What is Naegleria fowleri?

Naegleria fowleri is an amoeba (microorganism), commonly found in unchlorinated warm fresh water and soil. Any water supply that seasonally exceeds 30°C or continually exceeds 25°C may be a risk. This includes lakes, rivers, dams, bores, tanks, pipelines, natural hot waters/springs and spa and swimming pools that are poorly maintained, under-chlorinated or unchlorinated. Naegleriacannot survive in water that is clean, cool and adequately chlorinated.

Households with a private water supply

Households with a private water supply should be familiar with the quality of their drinking water. Private supplies may include rainwatergroundwater (from bores or springs), surface water (from a dam or stream) or carted water. Water used for household purposes such as drinking, food preparation and personal hygiene (including cleaning teeth/oral hygiene and bathing) should meet water quality guidelines in order to protect you and your family’s health. You do not need to test for Naegleria fowleri directly. Any warm unchlorinated fresh water could contain Naegleria.

NSW Health recommends that groundwater and surface water is not used for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene (including cleaning teeth and bathing) without testing and appropriate treatment including disinfection. This can be done by testing the microbiological, chemical and radiological quality of the water and disinfecting with chlorine.

Rainwater tanks are widely used as a source of drinking water in rural Australia. A properly maintained rainwater tank can provide good quality drinking water. Adequate disinfection can protect against harmful microorganisms.

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Joel Kozlowski
Doctor shift changes and welcoming in a new GP!

An important announcement as some of our Doctors days and shifts have changed:

First, we are welcoming in a new GP Registrar, Dr. Millie Holbeck, starting on 4/2. She will be working Full-Time Monday through Fridays.

Second, Dr. Joanne Osborne will now be working Tuesday's and Thursday's and every Saturday morning. This means we will now have TWO Doctors working Saturday's, which will help us serve you better!

Third, Dr. Katherine Smith will now be working Monday's and Wednesday's and the occasional Saturday.

Finally, Dr. Max Graffen will be working Thursday mornings and the occasional Saturday.

Dr. Charles Oliver will continue Monday through Friday and the occasional Saturday and Dr. Rachel Glasson will continue Monday through Friday outside of Thursday’s and will also work the occasional Saturday.

Thank you for your patronage and support!

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Joel Kozlowski
Whooping Cough (pertussis) uptick in NSW

Protect yourself and your loved ones.  At Blamey Street Surgery, we stock and can administer the Whooping cough vaccination (called Boostrix which includes a Tetanus vaccination) for a nominal fee.  Please phone us at 69252242 to see if you are up to date with your immunizations and need this protection.

A total of 228 pertussis (whooping cough) cases were notified in this reporting week. This brings the total number of pertussis cases notified for the year to date to 4,831, similar to the same period in 2017. There were, however, 790 pertussis cases notified in October 2018, which is the highest monthly total since December 2016. As this may indicate the start of a new epidemic of pertussis activity a community alert was issued.

Pertussis, commonly known as ‘whooping cough’, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Pertussis affects individuals of all ages, but is most severe and can be fatal in small babies, particularly those too young to be vaccinated and those that are unvaccinated. Pertussis occurs all year round, but tends to be more common in the warmer months of spring through summer.

To learn more, please click on the title header above which will redirect you to health directs website.

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Joel Kozlowski
Patient consent to receive SMS messages

In the upcoming months we would like to obtain your informed consent for sending you mobile phone SMS messages via our new HotDoc system here at the practice.  Please read through the following and the next time you are in you can give us your consent.  We will also be sending out a SMS broadcast in the near future where you can opt in or out of receiving future SMS reminders.

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Joel Kozlowski

Protect yourself or your employees from Q-Fever! There have been fourteen new cases recently in regional NSW including residents and veterinary workers. At Blamey Street Surgery we have qualified doctors that can administer the Q-Fever vaccinations if they are deemed necessary. Phone us today at 69 25 2242 to find out more about the Q-Fever process.  You can learn more about Q-Fever by clicking the header title link above or by visiting: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/qfever.aspx

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Joel Kozlowski