Dear Courtfield Patient,
Always important to start with good news!
In addition to there being no new Covid-19 cases amongst the Courtfield community for the 4th consecutive week, we also now have an approved “sensitive and specific” antibody blood test which detects previous infection with Coronavirus. This test is only suitable for those of you whose symptoms started more than 2 weeks ago.
For those of you concerned that you may currently have active Coronavirus infection, then the “antigen test” (throat and nose swab) is the correct one.
We are reserving these tests for Courtfield patients only.
If you would like to arrange a test then please let Reception know by emailing (rather than phoning) firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you to make the necessary arrangements.
The tests can either be carried out at home using a “finger prick” sample which is then sent to the lab (please see YouTube video on “How to take a finger prick sample“) or by having a sample of blood taken at the practice by a trained nurse. Both samples are analysed using the same technique at “The Doctors Laboratory”, with results sent to you by e-mail within 48 hours of receipt by the Lab.
Please click on the link to our detailed question and answer sheet “Antibody Testing FAQs” which we hope will answer all your questions about the new antibody test.
Slowly “unlocking” at Courtfield
As mentioned in previous bulletins, we are pleased to see more and more of you for face-to-face consultations where it is safe to do so. We would again want to reassure you that we are doing everything to maintain safe practice by keeping appointments widely spaced, and ensuring that all of us are wearing the appropriate protective equipment.
If you have your own mask, please wear this to the appointment. Do not worry if you don’t have one, as these will be provided for you, along with hand gel which should be applied on entering the building.
To further assist us in reducing contact with other patients, please attend on time for your appointment i.e neither early or late. We ask only one parent/guardian to accompany any child to their appointment.
For those of you unfamiliar on wearing a mask, please find a link to a short video on “How to put on a mask’.
Last week saw the start of “convalescent plasma trials”, in which the plasma of patients who have recovered from Coronavirus (and therefore have potentially protective antibodies), is infused into patients with Covid-19. This is being carried out at a number of centres in the UK – with Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital leading the trial in London.
For those of you that have had Coronavirus and would like to volunteer to take part in this trial by donating your plasma, please visit www.nhsbt.nhs.uk. Thank you.
Some interesting research facts
One of us (TL) was lucky enough to be invited to attend a webinar given by Professor Sebastian Johnson, Consultant Respiratory physician at Imperial College who is actively involved in Coronavirus research from an epidemiological and testing perspective.
Amongst the many interesting topics that he discussed, was why men are more susceptible than women to Coronavirus. It appears that men naturally make less “Interferon” -proteins produced by cells of the immune system which help fight against virus infections.
Apart from helping understand the current bias towards men being more severely affected, it also proved what this author has always suspected – that “man flu” is indeed a real phenomenon!
Professor Johnson also explained why Zithromax (Azithromycin) is the preferred antibiotic for Coronavirus infection as it shown to boost levels of Interferon.
Whilst it is hugely reassuring that there seem to be very few new cases in our community at the present time, the final attachment describes one of our GP medical colleagues’ experience of catching Coronavirus and particularly emphasises the frightening nature of the symptoms and the slow course of recovery. To view the blog please click here: “GP Blog“.
Even though we are moving slowly forward in our battle against this disease, now is definitely not the time to relax our behaviour with respect to social distancing, hand washing, and shielding the most vulnerable in our community.