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The emergence of the new virus causing COVID-19 disease has certainly been a cause for concern among health professionals and the general public.

There are a lot of worrying stories coming from other countries, and the course the disease will take in Australia remains very uncertain. It has all definitely taken the gloss off any exciting plans for the near future.

Expert Advice – COVID-19

Dr George Heriot PhD FRACP Infectious Diseases Physician

Although information is still emerging, it is possible to be cautiously optimistic about some aspects of this disease. It is very clear that large numbers of healthy young people have contracted this disease all around the world, but very few have had severe disease or even required admission to hospital. This also applies to pregnant women and those who have recently delivered, which is quite different to bad strains of influenza (such as the 2009 “swine flu”). Young children and infants seem to have particularly mild infection, with most having few symptoms, if any.

Because COVID-19 is still relatively new, not many women have delivered babies after being infected during pregnancy. The limited information we have is reassuring. Similar coronaviruses (SARS and MERS) have not caused poor pregnancy outcomes such as miscarriage, birth defects or premature delivery. Some small studies have already suggested that this virus does not infect babies in the womb, unlike zika virus.  There is also no reason to think that any of the medicines or procedures used for assisted reproduction place healthy young women at any greater risk of getting the disease or having complications if they do become infected. Women with severe pre-existing medical conditions will need to discuss their individual situation with their medical team.

The best source of up-to-date, relevant and reliable information about  COVID-19 is the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website  at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19.

The most important advice will remain the same: wash your hands, avoid  touching your face, stay at home if you are sick, and remember to look after yourself while you are caring for others.

Dr George Heriot PhD FRACP
Infectious diseases physician

 

CALL 1800 861 177

Important COVID19 Update!

To our No. 1 Fertility community, please be advised that our Collins Street clinic (Level1/1 Collins St, Melbourne) has been declared a tier 1 exposure site, after a person who attended the site tested positive to COVID-19. Our main clinic at Jolimont (Emerald City) has NOT been affected and will be operating as normal, and of course still in-line with current restrictions.⁣

Important things to note:⁣

  1. All patients who have been affected by this have already been contacted and are now isolating in-line with DHHS guidelines.⁣
  2. Dr Lynn Burmeister has not been affected, nor has our hospital site for patient egg collections. This also includes the laboratory sites where all IVF procedures are conducted - these remain unaffected and are operating as normal.⁣
  3. The Collins Street clinic is a monitoring site where patients attend for scans and blood tests. This site is currently undergoing a deep clean. All staff and patients who were on site at the time the infected person was there, are now isolating in-line with DHHS guidelines.⁣

We understand the significance of this announcement and we are devastated for our patients and their families, who have been directly impacted by this. Our staff are working around the clock to ensure all queries are answered. Please rest assured that all patients affected have already been contacted.⁣

If you would like to speak to a clinic staff member, please phone (03) 9132 9600.⁣

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.⁣

No. 1 Fertility.

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