Today a nurse from a public hospital attended for routine antenatal visit. I asked about Covid cases at her hospital and whether see had to nurse these patients. She said there were many in-patients with Covid and that she did have to nurse patients with Covid. She said she also had to do home visits on patients isolating at home because of Covid. She is extremely sensible. She took all the recommended Covid precautions. Whilst she accepted it was something she had to do, she was not alarmed.
Recently another patient, who was employed in another (non-medical) industry, wanted me to provide a medical certificate stating I recommended she should not work because of the possibility of her getting a Covid infection while at work. Her workplace risk of becoming infected was far less than that the nurse above. Her anxiety about this was out of proportion to the background risk. She has a history of anxiety disorder.
While Covid cases are on the increase there have not been any Government instructions stating pregnant women should not go to work.
Also, bear in mind that the current strain of Covid, while being more infectious, is less virulent than the first strains. It is in the virus’s survival interests to become less virulent. If it kept on killing its host it would not survive itself long-term.
It is important to take all steps that are reasonable to minimise your exposure and infection risk. These include…
- Working from home if you employer agrees.
- Wearing a face mask when indoors, except at home.
- Not going to large gathering of people such as sporting events, concerts, shows, etc.
- Minimise your time in shopping centres.
- Observing social distancing when possible.
- Hand sanitising.
These steps should be for you and your partner/husband.
4th Covid vaccination shot
I am repeatedly asked about this.
I strongly advise you and your partner should have the 4th Covid vaccine shot so you are maximally vaccinated. Which brand of Covid vaccine you get is not important.
Even with the maximum vaccine dose and so maximum protection you still can get Covid. But the 4th shot will help minimise the likelihood of you becoming unwell with Covid if infected.
Also please arrange for you children to be vaccinated. Children usually get infections with minor or no symptoms, but easily spread the virus to others.
And if you do get a Covid infection
- Don’t be concerned. Many of my patients have contacted me to say they have Covid infection. Not one has been sick enough to be admitted to hospital. In no case has a pregnancy been adversely affected by the Covid infection.
- Avoid fever by taking Panadol and having cool showers as needed.
- Keep up fluids
- Use symptomatic over the counter medications as appropriate and needed for cough, congestion, and sore throats, etc.
- Monitor baby’s activity and advise if concerned.
- Advise my office.
- Schedule your next antenatal visit for when you are well.
Also get the flu shot
I have had patients with both Covid and the flu at the same time!
It is particularly nasty flu season with many people unwell and hospitalised with the flu. The flu can adversely affect your pregnancy.
Flu symptoms can be very similar to Covid symptoms.