Almost two-thirds of Australians believe the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind them despite a new wave of infections and the emergence of different variants of the virus, according to Pfizer research.
One in three people are less likely to get tested for COVID-19 when they have symptoms today compared to a year ago, and the results have prompted stark warnings from healthcare professionals .
Professor Robert Booy, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Sydney, said the apparent drop in testing was a major concern and urged Australians to keep up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Recent data from the federal government has shown that COVID-19 still poses a very real risk to the health of our communities as we enter a new wave of infections, especially for those at higher risk of serious illness. “, Professor Booy said.
“Early detection means people can seek medical advice sooner and get faster access to antiviral drugs if they are eligible.”
Almost two-thirds of Australians are also less concerned about how COVID-19 is affecting their community, while around half are not as concerned about their own risk of serious illness.
One in five people who are at higher risk for COVID-19, such as people over the age of 70 and with health conditions including heart disease, are less likely to get tested or see a doctor if she has symptoms.
People at high risk are more likely to be seriously ill and hospitalized with COVID-19, so it’s important they act quickly and speak to their GP if they test positive, the founder of Hearts4heart said, Tanya Hall.
Virus cases are steadily rising in Australia, with a daily average of almost 10,800 cases at the end of the week of November 15 – an increase of around 38% on the previous week.
An estimated 9,800 Australians died of COVID-19 in the first 10 months of 2022, making it the third leading cause of death between January and October, according to the Actuaries Institute.
Australian authorities are closely monitoring the transmission of a second Omicron variant overseas, and there is every indication that a new wave of COVID-19 has started in the country, Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said.
In New South Wales, the number of cases is increasing at a slower rate than in previous weeks, which is in line with the national trend.
There were 27,750 people in the state diagnosed in the seven days to Nov. 19, according to the state respiratory surveillance report.
The research findings are based on a November survey of 1,000 Australian adults by Pfizer Australia.
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