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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Info Hub

The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic requiring a global coordinated effort. There is currently no vaccine available for this new virus and symptoms can include fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue and/or shortness of breath.

We are concerned for the welfare of our community living with muscle wasting conditions who may be at a higher risk of developing complications should they contract COVID-19.

The current advice in  Queensland is that anyone who has any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, should get tested immediately, particularly if you live in Brisbane or the surrounding regions.  Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • runny nose
  • loss of smell and/or taste

It doesn’t matter if you have just one of these symptoms or a group of them, or whether you feel really sick or just a little unwell, you should contact your doctor or visit a fever clinic immediately to get tested.  If visiting the doctor, please call ahead and tell them about your symptoms so they can prepare for your visit. A list of fever clinics is available here.

For people with a disability that are symptomatic and have trouble accessing their doctor or a fever clinic, alternative testing arrangements will need to be arranged.  In these circumstances, please call 13HEALTH or your local Public Health Unit (contact details available here).  For people living in disability accommodation services, it is also important that you advise the clinician of this prior to your test being complete

This list of resources has been gathered to assist our clients other members of our community with decision making during this time.

Handy links and numbers:

  • The Disability Information Helpline: 1800 643 787  provides information and referrals for people with disability who need help because of coronavirus, as well as for families, carers, support workers and services. The Helpline is available Mon-Fri 8:00am – 8:00pm (AEST) and Saturday and Sunday 9:00am – 7:00pm, excluding national public holidays.
  • NDIS participants who have immediate concerns about not receiving essential supports can call:
    • The NDIA on 1800 800 110, Option 5; or
    • The NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission by phoning 1800 035 544.
  • Queensland Community Recovery Hotline: 1800 73 349 People with disability who need to stay at home and do not have access to family or friends to provide support can contact the hotline on to request assistance with food, medication and psychosocial services. Community Recovery will organise for a support agency to provide relevant assistance.
  • Australian Government Department of Health – have developed a health alert hub with comprehensive, up-to-date information about the virus and how to manage it including a Guide for Home Care Providers and information for support workers and carers on Covid-19 testing for people with Disability 
  • Queensland Health – for the latest information about what is happening in Queensland
  • NDIS Participant Information – the National Disability Insurance Agency provides good information for NDIS participants with FAQ response style information about; health and safety, managing your plan and advice for providers
  • Know your rights: Getting the hospital care your need during COVID-19 – Queenslanders with Disability Network and Health Consumers Queensland have released new resources to help people with disability get the hospital care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Every Australian Counts – have collated lots of information on their site and includes easy-read and languages other than English guides
  • Beyond Blue – have information and advice to help you manage your mental wellbeing
  • COVID-19 Infection Control Training Course – Published by the Department of Health, this online training resource provides training on the fundamentals of infection prevention and control and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. You might find it useful for yourself or your disability support workers to complete.
  • PPMD Coronavirus Recommendations – this web page is developed for an American audience but has good information focused on people living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which may be useful for people in Australia with DMD and others living with similar muscle wasting conditions
  • Association of British Neurologists Guidance on COVID-19 for people with neurological conditions, their doctors and carers-22 March 2020 Experts in neurological subspecialities have attempted to estimate the risk associated with COVID-19 from each neurological condition or its treatment. This includes risks for each type of neuromuscular condition and the impact of different treatments from neuromuscular conditions
  • Muscular Dystrophy UK – Detailed guidance on risks from coronavirus for people with muscle-wasting conditions – this web page is targeted to a UK audience but contains some helpful information that is relevant regardless of where you live
  • Respiratory Care Recommendations – Myotonic.org – targeted to people with Myotonic Dystrophy but useful advice for those with other neuromuscular conditions that use non-invasive ventilation or cough assist.
  • Care Recommendations for Home-Based Ventilation Patients – advice for people using home-based ventilation who have contracted COVID-19. This resource was developed by the CHEST Foundation in the United States but has information that would be applicable to people living in Australia.

Updates on MDQ’s services:

  • MDQ’s Infection Control Measures – This page provides information about the way MDQ is responding to coronavirus recommendations and implementing changes to protect the health and wellbeing on our clients, their families and carers and our staff. This includes information about any changes we are making to the way we work, the way we provide services and any changes to our fundraising events.
  • MDQ’s Client Updates – we’re keeping people updated with our client updates and more regular emails. Sign up or read past editions of our client updates here.
  • Counselling and Support – Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. This page provides some handy tips to help you if you’re concerned about your response to the virus alerts.
  • Breathe Well Cough Assist Program –  If you do come down with a respiratory infection and would like to hire a Cough Assist machine on short term loan through MDQ’s Breathe Well program, we encourage you to let us know so that we are able to organise the loan in good time and help you avoid progression to a serious respiratory event.
  • Allied Health – we are still providing face-to-face allied health services. All of our frontline staff have undertaken infection control training and will use every precaution to keep everyone safe. Telehealth appointments are also available to anyone who is self isolating at this time. Please contact us on 3243 9700 or email info@mdqld.org.au if you would like to make an appointment or have any questions. Our Client Centre has now reopened so you can come to the centre or have a home appointment. Visitors to the Client Centre or office will be asked to do a temperature check before entering.
  • Support Coordination – Your MDQ Support Coordinator is still here for you. While the majority of support coordination services were being performed by phone and email, we are now able to offer face to face appointments at your home or in our Client Centre. All of our frontline staff have undertaken infection control training and will use every precaution to keep everyone safe. Did you know that you can also now access Support Coordination from the CORE supports in your NDIS Plan? If you have run out of Support Coordination in your Capacity Building supports or have never had Support Coordination and you need some extra help during the pandemic, we can help you. Please contact us for more details.
  • Plan Management – MDQ would like to reassure you that we have taken every precaution to ensure that our Plan Management service is not affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Our staff practice social distancing and hygiene recommendations and also have the ability to work off-site if necessary. We do not anticipate any disruptions to this vital service.

We want to assure you that the health and wellbeing of our clients, their families and carers is our highest priority.  Our focus is on continuing to offer our support and assistance where it is needed. Please contact us on 07 3243 9700 or email us if you have concerns of queries you’d like to discuss.  We’re here for you.