Coronavirus – Useful links for Families

There is so much new information being made available to us. We are best to listen to advice from the Australian Government and NSW Health at this time rather than some social media sites. We have compiled some websites that are helpful for families during these trying times with Covid 19.

When to get tested?

What you can and can’t do under the new rules

Do I have Coronavirus

Coronavirus Family Guide

Stay Resilient during Covid19

Mental Health Support

NSW Government News

Staying Safe from Coronavirus





Easter 2020

#stayhome this Easter. This is the message from the Australian Government.

Easter will be very different for people all over the world this year. While it is frustrating that we cannot see our love ones or go on our Easter holidays, this time will pass. Act now to slow the spread, if we don’t, we will have to continue social distancing and the rules associated with it for much longer.

We are safe in our homes, we can make a phone call or video call our families. We can take time to catch up on those jobs around the home that have been waiting for us.

Stay Safe everyone and Happy Easter from the team at Brook Medical Centre




April – May 2020


We share this planet with a host of other livings things including viruses. Some are well known to us and do not cause much concern.

Surprisingly, the Corona family of viruses as a group fits into this category. They cause a cold type illness which whilst not pleasant is not serious either. The new Corona Virus (Covid 19) has generated a lot of publicity and it is correct to say that we are still learning about it. Although it remains a member of a family of viruses which typically have not caused major problems to most who contracted them.

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There are two types of diabetes and they broadly divide insulin requiring (Type 1)  and non-insulin requiring (Type 2). This is not absolute as some people who do not need insulin at the start, may go on to do so.


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Teenage Acne

Under hormonal influence (mainly testosterone) sebaceous glands in the skin produce excess oil. This can block the pores allowing bacteria to multiply leading to acne. Most common in teenage years, it also affects adults. Males are most prone as are those with naturally oily skin and there are genetic tendencies.

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Checking for Head Lice – Signs and Symptoms

Most parents have experienced the note or email from the school saying head lice has been found. But should we really be concerned?

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Flu Vaccinations

flu pic

Brook Medical Centre are now taking bookings for your annual Flu Vaccination, which are bulk billed consultations.

FLU SEASON is generally July – August , so no need to rush. Indeed you have better immunity if you have the immunisation late April during consultations if available or May in our Flu Clinics.

We need to start with immunising the most vulnerable – patients over 75 years especially, so that is particularly the focus with the first immunisations planned. Later in May & June is still advised for most patients.

We are pleased in 2020 to be able to immunise with more effective vaccines. 

The changes,

  • Free Vaccine for children from 6 months of age to 4 years of age
  • 5 different age- specific influenza vaccines. 

This  vaccine  will cost $20 if you are not eligible under the National Influenza Vaccination program. This  can be paid upon arrival for your appointment, as we stock this and almost all  travel vaccines here at Brook Medical Centre.

Free influenza vaccine 

Under the National Influenza Vaccination Program, free seasonal quadrivalent influenza vaccine is available for the following people:

  • all people aged 65 years and over
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 6 months to 4 years
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over
  • pregnant women
  • Children aged between 6 months and four years old.
  • people aged 5 years and over with medical conditions predisposing to severe influenza,(and you may wish to discuss with your regular GP if your medical condition is covered)


Chronic conditions include :

  • Cardiac disease,  cyanotic congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure
  • Chronic respiratory conditions, including suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma
  • Other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, including diabetes mellitus, chronic metabolic diseases, chronic renal failure, and haemoglobinopathies
  • Chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and seizure disorders
  • Impaired immunity, including HIV, malignancy and chronic steroid use
  • Children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy .


Please contact us to book an appointment in one of our Doctors


Influenza Information



Covid 19

BROOK Medical Centre practice manager Kristen Seymour is calling on local residents to remain calm – and heed professional advice – as the threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) increases in the state.

Doctors and staff at the Muswellbrook facility, which recently welcomed four new registrars Tasha Sandhu, Mehedi Biplab, Omar Akram and Sione Akauolo, have reassured the community they are continually working to keep the surgery open.

Luckily, as of Tuesday morning (March 24), there have been no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Upper Hunter.

“We are aware that these times are unusual for all of us,” Ms Seymour said.

“However, with the mainstream media and social media in overdrive at the moment, we need to let people know what we are doing regarding COVID-19 and what it means for the community.

“We’re practising ‘as normal’.

“So, it’s a good opportunity to [still] make an appointment.

“We’ve also implemented a number of necessary measures to keep everyone healthy and safe.”

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10000 Steps

To end our 10000 steps challenge this year some our staff are participating in the 10000 Steps (Virtual walk) East to West Coast Tournament.

We are stepping it up this time and have three teams entered in this tournament. Brook Medical 1, 2 and 3. This time we are competing against each other. It is pushing us to walk more, and this is beneficial for us all.

We have to walk 5,000,000 steps this time around.

Why 10000 Steps

The 2013 Australian Health Survey reports 60% of Australian adults did less than the recommended 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per day. Adults who participated in a pedometer study recorded an average of 7,400 steps per day. Less than one in five adults (19%) recorded the recommended 10,000 steps per day on average which is needed to achieve health benefits.

If you see us out walking on our breaks, make sure you say hello!

10000 steps challenge 2019







October – November 2019

Memory Loss

The prospect of memory loss is one of the major concerns of people who are getting older. The "good news" is that while the total number of people with dementia is increasing, the percentage of the population with dementia is declining.

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Vaccination In Children

Over the course of the 20th Century there was a steep decline in deaths from infectious disease. One of the main reasons for this has been the advent of vaccinations. In simplest terms, this involves exposing an individual to a protein (or other recognizable part) of a bacteria or virus and "tricking" the body into mounting an immune response. We know that once antibodies are produced on one exposure that we become immune to the particular bug. Thus, a vaccine allows us to develop immunity without actually contracting the illness.

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Benign muscle growths which form in the wall of the uterus are called fibroids or myomas. It is estimated that up to 80% of women over the age of 50 will have them but most will not have any symptoms or need treatment.

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Prostate Enlargement

The prostate glad sits beneath a man's bladder and produces semen fluid. It gets larger as men get older and some can experience side effects. benign, (non-cancerous) enlargement or hypertrophy of the prostate (BPH) is far more common than prostate cancer and, to some degree, affects all men as they age.

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Alcohol amd Drug Abuse

Alcohol is a major factor in many diseases, violence and family disruption. Illicit drugs also cause major problems but, despite headlines, on a smaller scale. Prescription drugs lead to more deaths each year than illicit drugs.

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August – September 2019

Galling Gallstones

Bile produced in the liver to help digest fats is stored in the gall bladder. The Liquid can crystallise, which over time, can grow into gallstones. It is estimated that 10% of Australians are affected. Risk factors include being female, over 40, overweight and a family history of gallstones.  Use of oestrogen(e.g. the contraceptive pill) and having diabetes can also increase the risk.

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What is in a handshake?

The handshake is believed to have existed for thousands of years but its origin is unclear. One theory is that it was a gesture of peace - showing a right arm devoid of a weapon. Another is that it consecrated an agreement between people. The earliest recording comes from the ninth century BC.

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Eczema – Prevention and Treatment

Many children will have eczema at some stage and it is common in adults too. Typical symptoms are redness, itching and inflammation of the skin. The commonest areas are the face, elbows, knees and hands, but any part of the body can be affected.

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Avoid the Bite

Mainland Australia is free of malaria although it is found on the Torres Strait Islands. Malaria is potentially fatal infection caused by a parasite which is transmitted by mosquito bites.

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Swollen Ankles

Ankles can swell for many reasons, most of which are not serious. It is best to think about causes as being local (e.g. injury) or a 'distant' (e.g. kidney disease)

The ultimate cause is a build up of fluid at the feet and ankles. Most people as they age will experience this to some degree as the circulation can slow. It is more noticeable at the end of the day and may not be apparent on waking.

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Sinusitis on the Nose

The body has a number of air-filled sinuses which sit below, above and behind the eyes, and are in communication with the nasal passages. Their role is to warm and filter air and produce mucous to trap inhaled dust and other irritants. Too much mucous production, swelling of the linings or blockage can lead to sinusitis.

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June – July 2019

Post Traumatic Street (War Veterans)

First described in the 1970's in Vietnam War Veterans, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a reaction that people can develop after being through or witnessing a traumatic event which threatened life or safety of themselves or others. This includes war, natural disaster, assault or serious accident. It is estimated that 12% of Australians may experience it during their life. Risk factors, aside from trauma include a past history of other mental health problems and stress.

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Parkinson’s Disease

A progressive degenerative condition that affects body movements, Parkinson's disease affects around 40,000 Australians. It is more common in men and it is more common in older people. It is caused by a loss of dopamine production in the brain but why this happens is not known. Genetic factors, some toxins and head trauma may be involved.

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Headache is one of the commonest symptoms we experience. Virtually everyone will get a headache at some stage, but some people will get them often. Whilst there are serious cases, the vast majority not and treatments are generally successful.

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One of the most common health problems are haemorrhoids, affecting about 300,000 Australians each year. Haemorrhoids are essentially a "varicose vein" at the anus and can be internal (inside the rectum) or external. Risks related to repeated pressure in the abdomen which may be from pregnancy, constipation or heavy lifting. Sitting on hard surfaces for prolonged periods is another risk factor. There may be a genetic tendency.

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Whooping Cough

Whilst rare these days due to vaccination, there are still over 1000 cases of the infection "whooping cough" in Australia each year. It is caused by the bacteria Bordetella Pertssis spread from person to person. The infection causes irritation of the lining of the airways and increased mucous.

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April – May 2019

Otitis Media

The human ear has three parts - outer, middle and inner. All three can get infected. Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. It is most common in children and peaks between 6 and 18 months. The cause may be a bacteria or virus. It can affect one or both ears and may come with a "cold" type illness or just by itself. It is more common in indigenous children.

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Sleep – What happens to your body!

In the 20th century, people slept for nine hours. By the turn of the 20th century this had shrunk to seven and a half. Since then our 24/7 society, complete with computers and smart phones has affected us all. Even one generation ago TV stations closed overnight. However, our need for sleep has not disappeared.

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Warts and All

Warts, extremely common, especially among children, can appear anywhere and are most often found on the hands, knees and feet. These small eruptions on the skin are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (of which there are at least 70 types).

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Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence means no amount of voluntary effort stops the flow of urine. The two main forms of incontinence are urge where one cannot hold on when feeling the need to pass urine and stress where coughing, sneezing or movement can cause urine flow. Incontinence is far more common in women than men (affecting up to 50% of women) and while not being age specific, it is more frequent in later years.

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Hepatitis C – Avoiding Damage

Hepatitis C was first "discovered" in 1989. Catching the virus was associated with blood infusions before 1990 but today the main risk factors are sharing intravenous drug needles, tattooing and body piercing (if not sterile). Hepatitis C is no longer officially classed as a sexually transmissible disease but its spread via sexual contact is still possible if there are cuts or open wounds. Needle stick injuries carry a very small risk. The virus is not spread by hugging or through sharing food.

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