Residents urged to present for testing if feeling unwell

Elaine Pretorius TBW Newsgroup
TESTING BLITZ: Regional medical chief Dr Elaine Pretorius has called on residents to get tested for COVID-19 if they have flu-like symptoms.
Picture: SANDRA MORELLO

A PROMINENT medical official has urged people to get tested for COVID-19 if they were unwell with influenza or respiratory symptoms to ensure the disease is detected in the region.

Limestone Coast Local Health Network executive medical services director Dr Elaine Pretorius yesterday said people were already being tested for respiratory illnesses with the new measures an extension to this.

“This is part of statewide suppression strategy. We are looking for community transmission cases,” Dr Pretorius said.

Regarding the seven confirmed cases in the Limestone Coast, Dr Pretorius all of these people had now recovered from the disease.

While none of the people were admitted to hospital, she said one person – who was a female – felt “pretty unwell” but did not need hospital treatment.

Dr Pretorius said COVID-19 patients sometimes needed hospital treatment if their oxygen levels dropped.

While there have been no confirmed new cases for more than two weeks, she said this was not the time for complacency.

The regional medical leader called for people to receive an influenza vaccination, which was even more important given the COVID-19 health crisis.

Dr Pretorius said there were already influenza cases in the region.

“If you contract the flu, your immune system is eroded, which could make you more susceptible to COVID-19,” she said.

In particular, she said people aged over 65 and have a chronic illness should book in for a flu shot.

COVD-19 regional cases have been reported in Mount Gambier, Tantanoola, Kingston, Penola and Bordertown.

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