What is coronavirus and COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
This new coronavirus disease, which originated in Hubei Province in China late in 2019, is named COVID-19 and it has been assessed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
Current status in Australia
Last updated: 4/06/20
There have been 7,229 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 102 deaths in Australia.
Arm yourself with trusted information and support
We encourage people living with a lung disease or lung cancer to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic unless it is really necessary to go out. If you can, ask someone to help pick up essential items for you and leave them at your front door. If you have to go out, practice social distancing (staying 1.5 metres apart from others) and good hand hygiene, and avoid touching your face.
Vaccinate against flu and pneumonia
It is more important than ever to be vaccinated against influenza and, if indicated, pneumonia. While these vaccines won’t protect you from COVID-19, they will help to reduce the severity of flu and pneumonia which can cause complications with your current condition and lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to other illnesses. Make an appointment with your GP or pharmacist today. Please ensure you call ahead to ask what measures are in place to protect vulnerable community members from exposure to COVID-19.
Schedule telehealth appointments
It’s important you continue to access your usual healthcare. You can arrange appointments with your healthcare team, including your GP, via video calling software or telephone. These services are currently available to everyone and are designed to reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19 by limiting the need to leave your home
Utilise delivery services
People at higher risk of serious infection can now order medication online for home delivery. The service is available from any approved pharmacy. Some large supermarket chains are also offering home delivery to support vulnerable people. For more information, contact your local supermarket and pharmacy.
Keep your body moving
While you may not be able to participate in your normal exercise routine or classes, it’s important to stay active and maintain your exercise habits while at home. Our Maintaining Movement series, led by Lung Foundation Australia’s Pulmonary Exercise Manager and Exercise Physiologist, Emma Gainer takes you step-by-step through exercises you can do at home.
Look after your mental health
During this uncertain time, you may experience a range of emotions. We encourage you to use digital platforms to stay connected to your loved ones. Read tips and advice for looking after your wellbeing from Clinical Psychologist Debra Sandford.
Maintain healthy habits
The food you eat gives you the nutrients and energy you need to breathe. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated – choosing nutritious and easy to prepare snacks and meals that only need a few ingredients can help to keep prep time short.
Keep your home virus free
It’s important to consider additional preventative cleaning measures to keep nasty bugs out of your home. You may also like to hang our free poster on your front door or window, which kindly asks people to stay away if they are unwell or to take additional precautions should they be invited in.
Follow your action plan
If you have a condition, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or bronchiectasis, where you experience an exacerbation or flare-up, ensure you have a current written action plan. This will help you recognise when symptoms your worsen and how to take action to reduce the risk of a flare-up.
If you don’t have an action plan, download a template and organise an appointment with your doctor to work through it:
Connect to care
During these times of uncertainty, it’s important to stay connected and informed. Lung Foundation Australia’s Information and Support Centre team are available to provide guidance and practical tips. We can connect you with resources and support services to help you during this time. You can reach our team during business hours via free call 1800 654 301.
Get the latest COVID-19 news
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an evolving international health concern, stay up-to-date with the latest information from our leading respiratory experts.