Category Archives: Practice News

Flu Season Has Arrived

Dear Patients, 

Hope you are well. Autumn has arrived so has the start of the flu season. Although we could get flu at any time of the year, the spread is more prevalent when the weather cools down. The peak of flu season in Australia is usually June to September.  

The last two flu seasons have been unusual in Australia due to the covid-19 pandemic; we have not seen many influenza cases and there has been lower uptake of the vaccine. Now that the borders are open and life is returning to normal, health experts are predicting a more severe flu season in 2022.  

What is the flu or Influenza? 
The Flu or Influenza is an acute viral illness. It is a highly contagious disease that mainly affects the respiratory system. It is caused by influenza viruses classified as type A, B or C. Only influenza A and B viruses are included in seasonal influenza vaccines as they cause the majority of disease in humans. 

How the virus spreads?  
Influenza spreads easily, mainly through large particle droplets produced by sneezing and coughing. Droplets containing the influenza virus also settle onto surfaces, and the virus can then pass from hands to the nose, mouth or eyes. People with influenza can be infectious to others from 24 hours before symptoms start until 1 week after the start of symptoms. In previously healthy individuals, symptoms typically subside within 5–8 days. 

Symptoms 
Influenza symptoms usually have a sudden onset. The most common symptoms are:  

  • fever  
  • dry non-productive cough  
  • nasal congestion  
  • headache  
  • sore throat  
  • body aches, fatigue and feeling generally unwell          

Older adults and young children can be more severely affected and develop atypical symptoms.  

Prevention 

  • Vaccination is the best protection against influenza and its complications 
  • Practising hand hygiene and cough etiquette (such as covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing) can help reduce the chances of getting and passing on the influenza virus.  
  • People who are sick with influenza should stay home from work, school and social gatherings to prevent close contact with and transmission to other people. 

Why is it necessary to receive another dose of the influenza vaccine each year? 
The influenza virus changes frequently. Each year, the dominant strains differ and a new vaccine is created to target the current strains. The vaccine is most effective for the first 3-4 months after vaccination (though it is expected to continue to offer some protection after this period).  

Can influenza vaccines cause the influenza? 
There is no live virus in the influenza shot, so you cannot get influenza from the vaccine. The vaccine can cause some mild “flu-like” side effects such as body aches, fever and fatigue which may be mistakenly thought to be an influenza infection. 

Who should be vaccinated? 
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all people aged ≥6 months unless contraindicated (refer to link for Contraindications).  

Influenza vaccination is strongly recommended for anyone travelling overseas in 2022.  

Free vaccine 
There are a number of groups that are at increased risk of influenza and its complications. Influenza vaccination is strongly recommended and funded on the National Immunisation Program for the following groups:  

  • Children 6 months to 5 years of age 
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people 
  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy) 
  • Adults ≥ 65 years of age – this age group receive different version of the vaccine which is designed to increase the immune response to the vaccine  
  • All individuals aged ≥ 5 years with medical risk conditions (Please refer to link)  

If you are not eligible for the free vaccine, the cost of one vaccine is $25.00. 

To book an appointment, please click the button below. 

Kind Regards, 

The Team from Rozelle Medical Centre

Sources:  

Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin

Dear Patients,

With the change of seasons into Autumn, the team from Rozelle Medical Centre would like to share some information on Vitamin D to ensure you maintain your optimum health to live your best life.  

What is Vitamin D? 

Vitamin D is a nutrient you need for good health. It helps your body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks for strong bones. Together with calcium, Vitamin D helps protect you from developing osteoporosis, a disease that thins and weakens the bones and makes them more likely to break. Your body needs Vitamin D for other functions too. Your muscles need it to move, and your nerves need it to carry messages between your brain and your body. Your immune system needs Vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.  

Sources of Vitamin D 

Small amounts of the Vitamin D you need can be obtained through food (about 5 – 10 per cent).  

  • Vitamin D is added to many breakfast cereals and to some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and other food products. 
  • Fatty fish (like trout, salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils are among the best natural sources of Vitamin D. 
  • Beef liver, egg yolks, and cheese have small amounts of Vitamin D. 
  • Mushrooms provide a little Vitamin D. 
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun (90%). Your body makes Vitamin D when your bare skin is exposed to the sun. Most people get at least some Vitamin D this way. However, clouds, pollution, old age, and having dark-coloured skin reduce the amount of Vitamin D your skin makes. Also, your skin does not make Vitamin D from sunlight through a window.  

What happens if I don’t have enough Vitamin D? 

Factors such as lockdown, working from home, decrease in exercise and outdoor activities have may lead to Vitamin D deficiency.  

Vitamin D deficiency does not always have obvious symptoms but without treatment there can be significant health effects. These can include bone and muscle pain and softening of the bones – such as rickets (in children) and osteomalacia (in adults) which can make bones easy to fracture or break.

Which adult groups are at high risk of Vitamin D deficiency? 

  • Older or disabled people in low-level and high-level residential care, particularly those who are housebound, hospitalised community-dwelling geriatric patients. 
  • Dark-skinned people of either sex 
  • People with a disability or chronic disease (eg: multiple sclerosis) 
  • Fair-skinned people and those at risk of skin cancer and avoid sun exposure 
  • People working in an enclosed environment, such as office workers, factory or warehouse workers or night-shift workers. 

Do I need a Vitamin D Test? 

Vitamin D deficiency is done through a simple blood test by measuring a form of Vitamin D in your blood named 25-hydroxynitamin D (25-OHD).  

You may need a Vitamin D test if: 

  • you are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency or 
  • you have abnormal levels of calcium, phosphate or magnesium in your blood 
  • you have bone problems 
  • you have diseases that might result in, or be caused by, too much or too little Vitamin D  
  • you have problems with your parathyroid gland 

Please check with your doctor whether you need a Vitamin D test. 

Source: National Institutes of Health 
Source: Health Direct 
Source: The Medical Journal of Australia 

Best wishes,

The Team from Rozelle Medical Centre

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) & New and Returning Doctors at Rozelle

Dear Patients,

The team from Rozelle Medical Centre hopes you are staying safe and well, especially for those who are going back to the office or school. With the wide adoption of Rapid Antigen Tests (‘RAT’), following are some basic information about RAT from the NSW Health Department. We hope this helps with any confusion and makes life a little easier.

Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) 

What happens if I get a positive RAT result? 

If you get a positive RAT result and unsure of the next step, you may follow the guideline below.

Test result Symptoms Exposure risk Next step 
  Known or unknown contact You are a confirmed case, follow the advice for people testing positive for COVID-19 
 Or  Known high risk or household contact You are a confirmed case, follow the advice for people testing positive for COVID-19 
  No known contact You may be a confirmed case. Take another rapid antigen test within 24 hours or have a PCR test 

What type of RAT should I use? 

The Therapeutic Goods Administration provides a full list of RAT kits approved in Australia and how to use each one correctly. Please refer to https://www.tga.gov.au/covid-19-rapid-antigen-self-tests-are-approved-australia 

How do I use a RAT kit? 

Each RAT differs slightly so please follow the instructions of the RAT you are using. NSW Health has provided a quick video on how to use a basic nasal test. Click Here to watch the video.  

Can I eat or drink before using a saliva sample RAT? 

The answer is, “No. NSW Health recommends you do not eat, drink or brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes before doing a saliva rapid antigen test. This will ensure a clean sample is taken.” 

For full information on RAT for Covid-19 from the NSW Health, please refer to: 

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/stay-safe/rapid-antigen-tests-for-covid-19

How do I register a positive RAT result? 

From 12 January 2022, people who test positive to a Covid-19 RAT at home must register with Service NSW. You do not need to register if you have had: 

  • A negative or invalid RAT result 
  • A positive PCR test in the 28 days before your positive RAT 

To understand your eligibility, what you need and how to register, please refer to: 

https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/register-positive-rapid-antigen-test-result

Booster Eligibility 

You are eligible for a booster vaccination if you: 

  • are fully vaccinated (have received 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine), 
  • are aged 16 and over, and 
  • have received your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago. 

For further information please see the NSW Government website Here. 

Welcoming New Doctors at Our Practice 

Please join us to welcome our new doctor in the clinic. We attached her bio and area of special interest.  Please do not hesitate to contact us should you like to know more about our doctors or book an appointment Here.

We would also like to announce the return of two of our wonderful doctors from maternity leave. Dr Zoe Boyatzis and Dr Melissa De Sano, will be back working on Sundays initially, from 13th of March. Many patients have enquired as to their return. We are so happy to have them back! These new additions will, we hope, create much easier access to available appointments. 

Dr Maddison Kane

Background – Dr Maddison Kane completed her medical degree at The University of Sydney in 2019. She has gained experience in hospitals on NSW’s Central Coast prior to returning to Sydney.  
Special Interests – Dr Kane enjoys the wide variety of general practice and has particular interests in Adolescent Health, Mental Health, and Addiction Medicine.  
Personal Interests – Outside of medicine Dr Kane likes to spend time in the garden with her husband, and read classic novels. 
Availability – Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm; Alternate Saturday: 9am-1pm

Please take care and stay safe.

Best wishes,

The Team from Rozelle Medical Centre

Meningococcal B Vaccines Available

‘4CMenB’ is a meningococcal group B vaccine.

This vaccine is given to individuals from 2 months of age and older to help protect against disease caused by bacteria called Neisseria Meningitidis group B.

The B-strain of meningococcal disease has caused the most cases of the infection in New South Wales this year but a vaccine for the illness still isn’t eligible under the Immunisation Schedule.

NSW Health has revealed 15 of the 21 cases to date this year were meningococcal B.

It comes after NSW Health issued a warning this week encouraging the public to be aware of symptoms.

Bookings can be made online via HotDocs:

Book Appointment

CALORIE COUNTING – SHOULD I BE DOING IT? – Jessica Peronne, Dietitian

If the new year has you setting resolutions around healthy eating and losing weight, you may have considered counting calories. At first glance, the idea makes perfect sense – eat less than your body needs and you will drop a few kilos. But in reality, counting calories is much more complicated. Here are 4 reasons why calorie counting may not work for weight loss.

CALORIE COUNTS ARE ONLY ESTIMATES

From calories listed on food packets to calorie counting apps, the numbers you read are at best estimates. Studies on Australian products have shown that food products may have anywhere from 13% less to 61% more than what is stated on the packet! When it comes to apps like MyFitnessPal, information is crowd-sourced from all over the world where food formulations significantly vary. Combined with normal error in weighing and measuring your food, the numbers churned out are likely poor reflections of what you’re truly consuming.

PSYCHOLOGICAL DEPRIVATION CAN TRIGGER OVEREATING

Going on a diet and choosing the “low calorie option” often leaves you feeling psychologically deprived. Simply thinking a food is “low calorie” even if it is not reduces how satisfied we feel and disrupts ghrelin, our appetite hormone responsible for increasing our hunger.  As deprivation builds up, we end up obsessively thinking about food and then overeat. Whether you return back to depriving foods or continue over consuming, this pattern of eating prevents achieving a healthy weight.

In order to not feel overwhelmed with this return to fuller schedules and for some a return to life and work outside home, there are some strategies you can use to help manage life after lockdown. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these aren’t actually so different to those recommended over the past several months.

NUTRIENT QUALITY ISN’T CONSIDERED

With a laser focus on just calories, we start to neglect the nutrients in foods that help with weight loss. For example, protein and fats provide long term satiety and fibre provides “bulk” for fullness whilst also supporting the growth of healthy gut bacteria that regulate our weight and appetite. You may also miss out on key micronutrients like iron which can cause fatigue, poor energy levels and impact your physical activity!

IT CAN MAKE SOCIAL EATING STRESSFUL

Trying to calculate the calories when eating out can become near impossible and may leave you feeling incredibly anxious. As a result, many people begin avoiding social occasions. Apart from missing out on enjoying time with friends and families, this is a slippery slope into an unrealistic and unsustainable method of losing weight long-term. Remember, in order to maintain long-term changes in weight, your approach must be something you can sustain lifelong.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Although calorie counting works for some, it often becomes an ineffective way to achieve and maintain weight loss. Healthy weight loss encompasses much more than the calories you consume – it should also consider the nutrients you eat and the relationship you have with food. The best way to achieve a healthy weight is to choose something you can maintain long-term, and this may look different for each of us as individuals. If you are struggling with your health goals and would like tailored support, book in with our accredited dietitian, Jessica Perone

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Our patients recently filled in a comprehensive feedback form. Thank you for your cooperation. We have listened and as a result of your feedback have implemented the following changes.