What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?


What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?

f you develop symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high fever, a deep dry cough, fatigue and shortness of breath. What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?

Super Contributor

Re: What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?

Hi there @MyheroCoolSpy,

Go get a covid test straight away - either through your GP or a designated testing station. If you use the GP they may send you for a blood test as well. Then, go straight home & don't go anywhere until you get the results.
You may not have Covid, it might be just a flu. But even that can be devastating if you have cancer.
REST, stay hydrated & relax.

I hope you get well soon


Super Contributor

4Re: What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?

I reckon the world has gone crazy, and as such - I also acknowledge that it may be 'just me' (so take my remarks with a grain of salt and draw your own conclusions).  My comments and insights are just the garbage that rattles around in my mind - intelligent people need to make up their own minds, so don't kick me in the crackers if you don't like my viewpoint.


BUT, here goes:


If you're feeling sick, rushing out to get a COVID test is ridiculous.   When you're immuno-compromised or suprressed, toddling off to stand in line with a bunch of sick people is dangerously crazy advice.  I reckon you should stay home, rest, drink plenty of water, have a family member keep an eye on you if possible, and be ready to escalate (call 000) if you feel your condition slipping.  (and when you call, describe your symptoms as carefully as you can).


Ideally, if you have a thermometer or something, self monitor your temperature and use that as a guide, watching really carefully if it inches up past 38.


Testing isn't really for your benefit, but theoretically the management of the disease, and all that contract tracing garbage.   After the test you're told to go home and isolate.  If the test returns positive, you're further told to isolate.  You don't get any special care - that happens in a medical emergency.


The simple fact of the matter is, it's abundantly recognised that asymptomatic, mildly sick, or even quite sick people are not getting tested, and may or may not have COVID.  They bandy about 'no community transmission' and 'our numbers look good' when really those numbers are representative, not concrete - and a lot of the public commentary around this is political theatre (all just my opinion - but politicians consult their PR team before deciding what they can or cannot do or say - so it's the marketeers ruling the world by proxy right now, as terrifying as that sounds - because I never met a marketing manager that I didn't want to kick in the goolies).


They're so shocked when they find cases that they can't figure out the origin of, when there is obviously, right now, a degree of community transmission, none of these cases are lurching into the public eye because they're just not that severe - people are getting sick and getting well again and missing out on the testing window).  (And yep, I actually advocate that, but again what do I know ?)


I'm not trying to be dismissive - I just think rushing out into public is poor advice, especially for more vulnerable people - be it older, immunocompromised from cancer treatment, or whatnot.


Context - (and yes, I recognise this is with measures in place) there have been 900ish aussie deaths to COVID-19.   Lamentable.  Terrible.  Nobody wants to die (although we all do).


This time last year, there were more than 800 influenza deaths for the comparable period.

(yes yes, and I get it that this is with spread prevention measures in place). 


There are less than 100 flu deaths this year (again thanks to the measures)


So the point is - the measures like social distancing do help you to stop from getting sick.  Yeah, there are COVID centres that will come and test you in your car (FFS dont drive if you have a fever, you might kill one of my kids), but I visited a QML testing place a month or so ago, and there was a line-up around the corner, some people standing in the line were coughing here and there.  Many wore masks.  Some didn't.  Not that masks trap all airborne particles, that's science.... reach up, adjust the mask, particles on fingers.  Touch wall to steady yourself, particles on wall.  If we really want to be paranoid, then let's at least think in those terms and be LOGICAL too.


So - the disease spreads by exposure to people.  If you're immuno-compromised, you're at higher risk of getting sick.  If you are sick with the flu, you may also pick up COVID (or some other bug, like a communicable tummy bug), all of which you'll catch by going out bravely into the wide world and breathing in the air or kissing someone.


So yeah - if you're feeling sick, don't go out, stay at home, drink and rest.


That's my two cents, but hey, what do I know - the sky is falling, right ?


I'm 48 years old, and I may already be passed my use-by.  Given 6 months back in 2016.  The median age for COVID19 deaths globally is 84 years old, and female persons are more vulnerable apparently.  Noting that's global numbers, so it's probably somewhat higher, as the average age creeps down in countries with poor healthcare systems or management protocols.


If you happen to be in that group and feel a little bit sick - I think going out to a testing place is imprudent.


Yes, there are people who die overnight unexpectedly from COVID19, even young people.  And there are people who get run over by busses (I was actually hit by a bus as a young child, random fun fact)


In Australia, we have about 150,000 deaths on an average year, and 300,000+ live births.  Similar pattern around the world, we're making more people and losing fewer.    The suicide rate is projected to spike upward by around 15% or more, and there's likely to be an unknown consequential death toll for other diseases (like cancer) where people miss out on treatment windows because they're scared to leave the house.


I'm more concerned about those secondary consequences of the management of the outbreak than the outbreak itself, personally (but hey, I'm a moron).  I reckon, as the face of human commerce changes, geopolitlcal interests and national borders change, it's possible that we might regress a little.  It was only the 80s that our biggest concern was global thermonuclear war, and we (humans I mean) have kinda put it in low gear since, engaging in motivated surgical wars (kinda).  Unemployment.  Depression.  Crime.  Scarcity.  I personally see all of the above as more of a threat than death by COVID.  But hey, I have quite young kids, and most of my thoughts centre on them.   We seem to think we're enlightened now (just my impression) what with our aGender politics, karens and whatnot.  But it was only 100 years ago that humanity was finishing up a major global war, and another one followed just 20 years ish later.   


Bad decisions lead to bad outcomes.  

Don't be scared.  Be smart.  I think it's smart to rest when you're sick.


Just my two cents.




Super Contributor

Re: 4Re: What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?

You do not need to leave your home to be tested for covid. You can call 1800 675 398 if you live in VIC & someone will come to your home to test you. I'm sure there would be a number for other states as well.
Super Contributor

Re: What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?


I'm not sure what state (of Australia) you are in, but I can offer you my experience with NSW health.

While I haven't had Covid-19, my wife has.


My wife was tested by driving up to the covid-19 clinic in her car. At no stage did she have to get out of her car and the nurses were all wearing a lot of personal protective equipment. You are very unlikely to get covid-19 from there.

If you feel as though you are unsafe to drive, book and have a tele-health appointment with your GP. Explain to your Doctor your concerns about being unsafe to drive, and I'm fairly sure that they will be able to make an arrangement to assist you here.


When my wife tested positive, she received daily telephone calls/health checks from the nurses in the Covid centres. It provided a good sounding board for her with any concerns she had.

Once I fell asleep putting my children to bed and she fell asleep and she didn't respond to the covid centre's calls.  We ended up getting a knock on the door from the police doing a welfare check.

So I think it's well worth doing the checks.


Good luck!!



Super Contributor

Re: What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?

That's really hard to digest, mate.  The story told differently:


"I fell asleep, putting my kiddies to sleep, my wife (who is otherwise  pretty much OK, not in any medical distress) was also sleeping, getting much needed rest.  Then the police came knocking at my door and woke us all up, to ensure that we were still in compliance with the isolation order.  I'm not sure what they would have done if we didn't answer the door - MAYBE - tried to phone us (hopefully that call would wake us) .. or maybe (in my mind quite probably) force the door."


Wake me, my children and my wife while we are innocently sleeping in our own home/castle - and yet somehow that's a source of comfort ?  You call it a 'welfare check', which is really nice and probably the same language they use - BUT - it's a quarantine compliance check under another name.


Were you not in compliance, technically the maximum penalty under NSW Public Health act is $11,000 or 6 months in jail.  BUT - there's little or no court oversight, and with the creep in powers, according to the media it's now a $50,000 penalty and up to a year in jail.  Interestingly this one chick who had permission to cross the WA border and then isolate once she got home - is in prison now, because she didn't want to spend on the airfare or couldn't afford it, so rode along with a truckie mate (not sure if he's in prison).  Again, she had permission to cross the border, they just felt she did it under stealth (and probably rightfully so - but popping her in a cage with violent criminals seems a bit iffy though - to me at least).


Anyway, the knock-knock police aren't there to render first aid, and individual welfare is secondary to the wider welfare of preventing sickies from going wandering.  If there were no answer (this is just my opinion and assessment) they probably would break your door, scare the kids, but if there were a sick person they'd certainly escalate for an ambulance.   In the interesting scenario where a person's back yard abuts a public nature strip, police can technically levy serious fines for watering your back garden if you're under an isolation order).  One woman got charged and taken to jail for making facebook comments suggesting people observe their right to protest (which would have placed them in breach of a public health order, so they charged her for incitement or something like that).


They're still figuring stuff out like isolation orders applying to an entire family not an individual.  Last week I think it was, a kid went to school when his mum was under an isolation order, and the school had to be shut down (unconfirmed, just read it in the news feed).


Anyway, when the police showed up, no doubt they were wearing masks, although they certainly will have been all over town doing compliance checks on infected people.  It is worth noting that ENT specialists, folks who REALLY know the human respiratory system, wearing full PPE, have still picked up the disease while performing tracheotomies and other interventions to help COVID patients.  So I guess the take-home from that is that if you spend enough time around sickies, you're rolling the dice, regardless the circumstances.


Home visitation testing (for mobility challenged folks in Melbourne), or drive-in testing, it's the same premise.  Sure, maybe they go through a wall of disinfectant between car-to-car testing, or maybe a sickie clears their throat, expelling invisible aerosol droplets onto their face-mask and gloves, and then when they test the next person, slippage happens.  The one enduring thing about human society is:  slippage happens.  Dice get rolled.  People get lucky.  Sometimes they don't.


I'm not trying to trivialise the disease, but if we're going to ride the fear-tsunami, we might as well be fact/evidence based about it:- human contact spreads the disease, and even health professionals with a high skill profile and full PPE have picked up the disease.  So it's not altogether sound to assert that an immuno-compromised person is safe under any circumstances other than sitting alone in a room.


All that rambling rant parked to one side - if you're substantially sick - flu like symptoms, diarrhea, breathing irregulatity, any of that stuff - I reckon you should bite the bullet and get tested anyway, which might be immediately preliminary to a quarantined hospital admission.  But if you're feeling quite OK, temperature just up by a few degrees and you have a little bit of a cough.  I'd stay home and rest, and get a friend or a relative to check in on me rather than some telehealth nurse or the federal government via men & women with guns.  You're going to be ordered to isolate anyway pending the result of a COVID test, so just do it voluntarily.


If you're truly worried about the disease, it's human contact that spreads it.  Staying at home isn't just to your benefit, but anybody you come into contact with en route - example, the postman who delivers your letters when you leave sneeze droplets on the letterbox as you unthinkingly and habitually check your mail on the way out, and he comes along and opens it up 10 minutes later.


Sorry, you're all lovely people - I hate the idea that I'm coming across belligerent - but I personally think all of this stuff we as a society are doing is really, utterly barking mad.  I get it that people have died from COVID.  I don't want people to die.  But all this other stuff that we're doing, accepting and advocating ... to me there's like a massive movement away from reality for us as a species.


But I guess that's been happening gradually over time anyway - there's this kind of neo-narcissism that started with the emergence of social media, and I think it's gradually distorted human values and politics in an unauthentic, group-think mess of a way.


Don't worry, when I begin my Rise to Power, I'll fix everything up.


Anyway, it's interesting times, I suppose.  I do think we should all be unafraid to authentically say what we think, and to respectfully disagree with one another.  That's what I'm trying to do, sorry if it comes across as something different.  These days we're pretty intolerant of competing viewpoints.


All the best and sorry for the ranty comment - I guess my basic theme is: if you're scared of getting the disease, you should stay away from people as much as possible until this storm passes and we as a society get a better handle on things.  It's a mess right now, in my opinion.


(But contrastingly, if you ARE scared of the disease, I think you're allowing it to cast a somewhat wider shadow than it merits.  I do reserve the right to change that viewpoint if the disease morphs and gets a deeper foothold).


I'm not telling anybody what they should do, clearly I'm a dysfunctional moron.  I just think my viewpoint is fairly sound (but hey, I'm kinda biased), and as it might be read by people with immuno-compromise, and I'm not seeing it put forward anywhere else, I thought I'd better try and do my best to articulate it.  Draw your own conclusions.


Super Contributor

Re: What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?

Definitely, the safest place for anyone is at home. But, if you want peace of mind, if you want to know for sure, one way or another, then there is no harm in going to a testing site that is the safest one possible. Especially, if you practice good hygiene habits straight away. Carry a bottle of sanitiser, a can of Glen-20, whatever you need to. Then when you get home, wash with soap & water.

And I, for one, am glad of the police locking up people who have no consideration for the safety of others.


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Super Contributor

Re: What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?

"That's really hard to digest, mate.  The story told differently:"


Actually, my wife was very unwell. She had the cough where she was struggling to breath. Her eyes were weeping. She had really bad headaches and all she could do was sleep. The first two weeks were OK. It all went down hill from there for the next 2 months. The daily calls from the covid-19 medical staff were a life line. They monitored her health, including arranging patient transport/transfer to hospital through to A&E when things weren't going as planned.

Many months on, and she's still living with the side effects of the disease.


"Wake me, my children and my wife while we are innocently sleeping in our own home/castle - and yet somehow that's a source of comfort ?  You call it a 'welfare check', which is really nice and probably the same language they use - BUT - it's a quarantine compliance check under another name"


To be fair, they knocked on the door and didn't wake anyone else up. I simply informed them that my wife was asleep in bed and they simply took what I said at face value. They never asked to see her. They didn't wake anyone else up. They were very polite.

I thanked them for their time and they went on their way.  The only thing that makes this story remotely interesting was the shocked look on my face to find two police officers standing on my door step.


I'm not scared of the disease. I just have first hand experience of caring for people who have it. My wife was covid-19 positive for over 2 months and my children and I lived with her. Noone else in my family caught it. We just took precautions to manage the risk of catching it.

I also had to listen to my wife cough and cough and hear the whistle in her lungs when she was gasping for breath.


I'm not trying to spread fear. Quite the opposite. I just believe in managing the risks. From my perspective, if you think you might have bowel cancer, you have a colonoscopy. I don't skip the colonoscopy because they doctor might perforate my bowel while performing the operation.  There are risks to everything in life. You need to evaluate the risk of having something done, against the risk of not having something done.

I'm not trying to convert you, just give you my personal way of seeing it.




Re: What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?

Thank you for the kind suggestion, I hope that you and and you wife has fully recovered already. Keep going and keep being positive. 

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Re: What should I do if I have symptoms of an infection?

I super agree, that is why I am just staying home. Is that how you coped too! I almost made my house like a jungle because of planting and growing plants at my backyard haha

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