NSLHD News COVID-19 special March 24

dr hudson on covid-19: information and reassurance Infectious diseases and

clinical microbiology expert Dr Bernie Hudson took part in a short COVID-19 video to provide some important information and reassurance to district staff and the community. Dr Hudson has 30 years’ experience as a doctor in the area of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at Royal North Shore Hospital and is currently responsible for the infectious disease service for the whole of Northern Sydney Local Health District. The video aims to provide accurate information at a time when there is a great deal of misinformation and concern in the community. Bernie said some people are scared because this virus is an unknown quantity. And obviously with the unknown people think of all sorts of different things “The reality is we just need to do all the same things that we normally do. That’s good hand hygiene, good cough etiquette, staying away from work if you’re sick and also use personal protective equipment when appropriate,” Dr Hudson said. “We also have social distancing which means separating yourself from other people by about two metres, because droplets can be spread with the virus in them when people cough and sneeze. But the droplets only travel about a metre.” Dr Hudson re-emphasised the importance of practicing good hand hygiene.

Infectious diseases and clinical microbiology expert Dr Bernie Hudson

“Hand washing is extremely important because even though this virus is spread by the respiratory method with people coughing and sneezing, we get the virus on our hands and we get rid of the virus from our hands by just washing with soap and water,” he said. “Ideally what you do with visibly soiled hands is you’ll wash for 20 seconds with soap and water. If they’re not visibly soiled, alcohol hand rub alone will be enough to get rid of the virus.” Understandably, health care workers are also worried about catching or transmitting COVID-19. “Health care workers for decades now have been gearing up using personal protective measures, good hand hygiene, etc. These measures work just as well for influenza and measles and a whole variety of things

and they will work well for this condition,” Dr Hudson said. “If you do all those things properly, your risk of getting this infection at work is virtually zero. “People know that it’s very easy to catch influenza. Well this virus is almost the same maybe a little bit more infectious than influenza, but it’s the same measures that we use to protect ourselves against influenza infection as we do for this particular virus. “So even though this is a new virus you just have to remember, that the things that we’ve done before are the things that we need to do now and they’ll work now just like they’ve worked for us before.” Staff can view the Dr Bernie Hudson video on the intranet.


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