Fairfield Paediatrics will continue to provide services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Fairfield Paediatrics is dedicated to providing safe, timely and responsive care to our patients and their families. As of Wednesday 1st July, we will be resuming face to face consultations, with added protective measures in place. If you have an appointment scheduled and you or someone in your household is unwell, it is important to let us know as early as possible.

Telehealth appointments will still be available for those who need it, at the discretion of your paediatrician.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, a sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection.

How does it spread?

COVID-19 is a virus. It can be spread from person to person in a variety of ways. These include:

  • close contact with an infectious person (a person can be infectious up to 24 hours before they display any symptoms)
  • contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
  • touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face

COVID-19 is a new disease, so there is no existing immunity in our community. This means that COVID-19 could spread widely and quickly.

Who is at risk?

Currently in Australia, the people most at risk of getting COVID-19 include:

  • people who have recently returned from overseas travel
  • those who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19
  • people in group residential facilities, correctional centres and detention centres

Some people in our community are at higher risk of serious illness, should they get COVID-19. This includes:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions
  • people 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions
  • people 70 years and older
  • people with compromised immune systems

At this stage the risk to children and babies, and the role children play in the transmission of COVID-19, is not clear. However, there has so far been a low rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases among children, relative to the broader population.

What are the symptoms?

It is possible for the infection to be transmitted without the patient having any symptoms, particularly in children.  While symptoms of infection may be delayed for up to 14 days after contact, most individuals who become infected are likely to develop symptoms within 5-7 days of exposure.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills or sweats
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
Do I need to be tested for COVID-19?

If you have any of the above symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, you should seek advice from your GP and get tested.

All patients being tested for COVID-19 should home isolate until test results are available. All patients should attend an emergency department if clinical deterioration occurs.

In certain circumstances headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may also be considered as criteria for testing.

To get further advice, call the 24-hour coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398 or contact you GP.

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

Currently, there are several drive-through testing sites and respiratory clinics available throughout Victoria where you can go to be tested. Some sites are only testing adults, so if you have a child needing to be tested, we suggest trying one of the following options:

As a first point of call, we suggest calling your local GP – they may be performing tests themselves or know of a local site you can go to be tested.

Our friends at The Local Doctor Ivanhoe have advised that they are currently offering drive-through testing for both adults and children.

Call them on 03 8373 4646 as you will need to arrange an appointment to be tested.

If not, visit the Victorian Department of Health website for an up to date list of testing sites, waiting times and other useful information.

How can we help slow the spread of COVID-19?

Some ways we can all help to slow the spread of COVID-19 include:

  • practising good hand hygiene
  • social distancing
  • staying at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out
  • while there is no vaccine for COVID-19, it is more important than ever to ask your GP about getting your annual flu vaccine

If you suspect you may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please call the dedicated hotline on:

1800 675 398

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.