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Flu and Travel Vaccinations COVID-19 Screening program Pre-employment screening Executive Health Checks

Flu and Travel Vaccinations

Seasonal and travel vaccinations can be provided to your staff, conveniently onsite at your workplace by our experienced health professionals. Reduce the spread of illness whilst supporting a healthy workforce.

Our experienced medical and nursing team can attend your workplace and administer vaccinations with minimal disruption to work flow and productivity. Vaccination programs can be delivered to your industry specific needs, whilst catering to your organisation’s unique preferences and systems.

Vaccinations may include but are not limited to:

• Annual influenza (flu)
• Hepatitis A & B
• Typhoid
• Measles, Mumps & Rubella
• Yellow fever

Please EMAIL anastasia@medicalhubrmit.com.au or call us on 03 9999 2778 to discuss your organisational health needs.

INFLUENZA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. WHAT IS INFLUENZA AND HOW IS IT CAUSED?
Influenza is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. Influenza viruses infect the respiratory tract. When someone who has influenza coughs, sneezes or evens talks, the influenza virus is expelled into the air and can be inhaled by anyone close by.

Q. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF INFLUENZA?
Influenza is a contagious respiratory viral illness. Influenza A and B are the major types of influenza viruses that cause human disease and affect people of any age. Persons with influenza may experience fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, runny noses and watery eyes. Children also may experience vomiting and diarrhoea. Although fever and body aches usually last 3-5 days, a cough and fatigue may persist for 2 weeks or more.

Q. HOW LONG IS A PERSON WITH INFLUENZA CONTAGIOUS?
The period between infection and onset of symptoms (incubation period) for influenza is 1-4 days. A person with influenza may be contagious 1 day before symptoms begin, through to approximately 5 days after illness onset. Children may be contagious for 10 days or more. This means people could be infecting others with the influenza virus without their knowledge.

Q. HOW CAN INFLUENZA AND ITS COMPLICATIONS BE PREVENTED?
Influenza can be prevented with a high degree of success when a person receives the current influenza vaccine. This vaccine is made each year and is prepared to protect against a combination of the four mainly anticipated flu viruses.

Q. IS THE INFLUENA VACCINE SAFE?
The vaccine does not cause influenza. It is biologically impossible to contract influenza from the vaccine, as it does not contain ‘live virus’. Generally, people have no reaction to the vaccine. Some people may experience mild side effects such as tenderness and redness at the injection site. This usually clears within a day. A cold compress applied around the injection site should offer some relief. Persons with allergies to eggs or chicken products should not receive the influenza vaccine, as it is prepared from influenza viruses grown in eggs.

Q. HOW EFFECTIVE IS INFUENZA VACCINE?
In years which there is a good match between the vaccine virus and the virus strain causing illness, the influenza vaccine is generally considered to be 79-90% effective in preventing influenza illnesses in healthy adults. It is worth being aware that it takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for a person to develop protection against influenza infection. Also, influenza vaccine does not protect against respiratory illness caused by other viruses.

Q. CAN YOU GET INFLUENZA FROM A VACCINATION?
No. It is absolutely impossible to contract influenza from the vaccine. The viruses in the vaccine are inactivated and incapable of causing influenza. Actually, the person is protected from influenza by antibodies that are formed by the immune system’s response to the vaccine. The number of antibodies in the body is greatest 1 or 2 months after the vaccination and then gradually declines. For that reason and because the influenza viruses usually change each year, a high-risk person should be vaccinated between the months of March and May with a new vaccine.

Q. WHICH STRAINS HAVE BEEN INCLUDE IN THIS YEAR’S VACCINE FOR AUSTRALIA?
The Australian vaccine for the year 2020 contains: A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus A/South Australia/34/2019 (H3N2)–like virus B/Washington/02/2019 – Like (B/Victorian lineage) virus B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus As approved by the WHO and the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee

Q. IS INFLUENZA CONSIDERED SERIOUS?
For most health adults and children, influenza is typically a moderately severe illness. You could expect to be unwell for up to a week. But for others who are not well to begin with, influenza can be very severe and even fatal. Symptoms have a greater impact on this group of people, in addition, complications can occur. Most of these complications are bacterial infections because the body can be severely weakened by influenza such that its defences against bacteria are low.

Q. WHO GETS INFLUENZA?
Anyone can get influenza. People who are not well to begin with are particularly susceptible to the complications that can follow. For anyone in a high-risk category, influenza is a very serious and potentially fatal illness. You may be at high risk if:

– You are over 65 years old or have;
– Chronic disorders of the pulmonary or Circulatory systems
– Cystic Fibrosis
– Severe asthma
– Diabetes mellitus
– Chronic metabolic disorders
– Renal dysfunction

Q. IS THE INFLUENZA VACCINE SAFE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN?
It is recommended that influenza vaccination be offered in advance to women planning pregnancy, and to pregnant women who will be in the second or third trimester during Influenza season, including those in their first trimester at the time of vaccination. Influenza vaccination is estimated to prevent 1 to 2 hospitalisations per 1000 women vaccinated during their second and third trimester.
(Australian Immunisation handbook. 9th Edition page 193,194)

Q. CAN YOU HAVE A RECURRENCE OF INFLUENZA?
A person can have influenza more than once. The virus that causes influenza may mutate/change. The virus may belong to one of three different influenza virus families, A, B or C. Influenza A and Influenza B are the major families. Within each influenza virus family are many viral strains. The strains may cause illness of varying severity. If you have Influenza, your body develops antibodies. The following year a new strain, either from the same or different influenza virus family may appear. Your antibodies are less effective or ineffective against the unfamiliar strain. If you are exposed to it, you may come down with influenza again.

SOURCE: World Health Organisation, The Australian Influenza Specialist Group, National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Guidelines

 

 

COVID-19 Screening program

COVID-19 testing is Government funded to those with flu like symptoms, close contacts of positive cases, health care and aged care workers, although this funding does not extend to those who are not experiencing symptoms. As organisations are planning to return to workplaces, anxiety is building about the potential for clusters to break out. Periods of isolation, testing of close contacts and recovery can lead to weeks of loss of productivity and absenteeism. The WHSM team are experience in running commercial Covid-19 screening services within your workplace, taking it consideration your unique needs, employee privacy and anxieties.

Relevant Industries include but are not limited to:

• Educational settings
• Trucking industry
• Child care centres
• Hospitality
• Building and construction
• Office spaces
• Buildings sharing bathrooms and other amenities

Please EMAIL anastasia@medicalhubrmit.com.au or call us on 03 9999 2778 to discuss your specific industry needs.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR EMPLOYERS

Q. WHAT IS COVID-19 AND HOW IS IT CAUSED?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new form of coronavirus. It was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.

Q. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
The symptoms include: fever, respiratory symptoms (coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose), headache, muscle or joint pains, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of sense of smell, altered sense of taste, loss of appetite and fatigue.

Q. HOW IS COVID-19 CONTRACTED?
Health authorities around the world believe the virus is spread from close contact with an infected person, mostly through face-to-face or between members of the same household. People may also pick up COVID-19 from surfaces contaminated by a person with the infection. COVID-19 is spread by people with symptoms when they cough or sneeze.

Q. HOW CAN COVID-19 IMPACT THE ORGANISATION?
People with a confirmed COVID-19 infection stay in quarantine until they are no longer experiencing symptoms. Before they are released from quarantine, their doctor or specialist care team assesses they are no longer infectious. This could lead to approximately 14 days off work and loss of productivity. Anyone who is tested must also remain isolated until they are confirmed as negative. Screening can take anywhere between 24-72 hours, depending on laboratory waiting times. Studies suggest that COVID-19 may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions such as the type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment. A positive diagnosis of an employee could mean temporary closure for commercial infection control and cleaning.

Q. WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF RUNNING A MASS TESTING PROGRAM?
A mass testing program can lead to anxiety and stress amongst employees, particularly whilst awaiting results. Leadership teams may need to allocate some resources to managing such anxiety and provide information and reassurance.

Q. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A MASS TESTING PROGRAM?
The benefits of a mass testing program include employees satisfaction in the investment into infection prevention by the organisation, eliminate or reduce anxiety, create awareness, decrease absenteeism, and reduce the impact on operations.

Q. WILL THE SWAB HURT?
The swab does not hurt, although it can be uncomfortable. The swab is taken from the throat and both nostrils. It is important that the appropriate areas are swabbed in order to maximise the accuracy of the test.

Q. WHAT INFORMATION NEEDS TO BE GIVEN PRIOR TO THE SESSION?
General FAQs for employees have been provided. Each employee will be consented by the Nurse at the time of testing.

Q. WHY CAN’T EVERYONE BE TESTED AT A GOVERNMENT TESTING CLINIC?
The criteria for Government funded testing is rapidly changing as the pandemic impacts Victoria. At the time of preparation of this document, only those with respiratory symptoms or residing in the stipulated postcodes qualify for government funded testing.

For up to date information, please refer to https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-self-assessment

Q. IS THE COST OF THE TEST COVERED BY MEDICARE OR PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE?
The fee associated with the COVID-19 test is not covered by Medicare or Private Health Insurance. Those who qualify for the government funded screening must attended a nominated DHHS screening clinic.

Q. WHAT IF A TEAM MEMBER HAS RESPIRATORY SYMPTOMS?
All employees should be advised to stay at home if they are suffering any respiratory symptoms and get tested.

Q. SHOULD EMPLOYEES BE ENCOURAGED TO HAVE A FLU VACCINE BEFORE RETURNING TO WORK?
With COVID-19 spreading across Australia, this year it is more important than ever to ensure that Australians receive the seasonal influenza vaccination. The regular influenza season may coincide with the peak of the current COVID-19 pandemic, potentially placing additional burden on the Australian health system.

SOURCE: Australian Government, Department of Health, https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
SOURCE: Victoria State Government, Department of health and Human Services, https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR EMPLOYEES

Q. WHAT IS COVID-19 AND HOW IS IT CAUSED?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new form of coronavirus. It was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.

Q. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?
The symptoms include: fever, respiratory symptoms (coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose), headache, muscle or joint pains, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of sense of smell, altered sense of taste, loss of appetite and fatigue.

Q. HOW IS COVID-19 CONTRACTED?
Health authorities around the world believe the virus is spread from close contact with an infected person, mostly through face-to-face or between members of the same household. People may also pick up COVID-19 from surfaces contaminated by a person with the infection.
COVID-19 is spread by people with symptoms when they cough or sneeze.

Q. HOW LONG IS A PERSON WITH COVID-19 CONTAGIOUS?
People with a confirmed COVID-19 infection stay in quarantine until they are no longer experiencing symptoms. Before they are released from quarantine, their doctor or specialist care team assesses they are no longer infectious.

Q. WHO IS AT MOST RISK OF GETTING CORONAVIRUS?
Anybody can get coronavirus if they have contact with a person. Some people are at higher risk of getting coronavirus because of where they have been, or where they live.
• Overseas travellers and close contacts
• Close contact

People who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are at high risk of getting COVID-19. This also includes people who live in group settings with many other people and share common rooms (such as aged care homes or boarding houses).

Q. WHO IS MOST AT RISK OF BEING VERY SICK FROM COVID-19?
Although most people will have only mild symptoms, anybody can become very sick with COVID-19. However, we know that some groups of people are more likely to become very sick with COVID-19.
➢ People who are older or elderly.
➢ People who have pre-existing medical conditions including those with diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure and people with low or suppressed immune systems.
➢ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
➢ People living with HIV

Q. HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF & OTHERS?
• Stay at home. Don’t visit friends or family at this time.
• Do not travel throughout Victoria unless absolutely necessary.
• Stay healthy with good nutrition, regular exercise and sleeping well.
• Avoid excessive use of alcohol and for smokers, now is a great time to consider quitting. See more information on COVID-19 and smoking below.
• Take the following hygiene actions:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or using the toilet. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
• Do not share drink bottles, crockery or cutlery.
• Stop shaking hands, hugging or kissing as a greeting.
• Ensure a distance of at least 1.5 metres is kept between yourself and others.
• Get vaccinated for flu (influenza). This will help reduce the strain on the healthcare system as it deals with COVID-19. Vaccines are now available from your GP and pharmacy.
• Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces regularly e.g. phones, keyboards, door handles, light switches, bench tops.

SOURCE: Australian Government, Department of Health, https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
SOURCE: Victoria State Government, Department of health and Human Services, https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19

 

 

Pre-employment screening

WHSM are experienced in working with organisations to tailor pre-employment medical assessments that respect privacy, workplace relations and anti-discrimination legislation. Medical screening, assessment, clinical investigations and reports that are industry, task and role specific can be developed collaboratively.

Our pre-employment assessments provide employers with relevant, valuable health information to inform their recruitment decisions.

We offer:

• Job and task analysis
• Pre-employment medical assessment
• Drug and alcohol testing
• Hearing and lung function screening
• Baseline and periodic health screening

Please EMAIL  anastasia@medicalhubrmit.com.au or call us on 03 9999 2778 to obtain details on our competitive pricing

Executive Health Checks