Sadly, the first report of an Australian dying from COVID-19 (coronovirus) has occurred at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in WA.
Data from the US highlights that the fatality rate from COVID-19 in people with other illnesses or compromised immune systems (such as those having chemo and immuno therapies) is about 15%, compared to 2% with the general population.
It is already well documented that patients treated with cancer therapies at home (compared to hospital) have a lower rate of infection as they are less likely to be exposed to other contagious illnesses.
It would therefore seem prudent for any patient having treatment with chemo or immuno therapy to consider all reasonable ways to limit their risk of exposure by minimising the time they spend in hospitals, day units, clinics or gp surgeries.
There are two practical ways to do this, without compromising care:
1. Have health professionals visit the home to administer treatment (e.g. View health – chemo@home, home doctor, home nursing); and
2. Make use of technology (e.g. telehealth, FaceTime, whatsapp) for health consults.
Contact us to if you would like more information about how to reduce your risk of exposure by having your treatment at home.
Keep up-to-date with all the current information on COVID-19 at Australian Government’s Department of Heatlh website – https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov.
Photo credit: An electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 — also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19 Photograph: Niaid Rml/NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH HANDOUT/EPA