The man who started it all: Australian microbiologist and gastroenterologist Dr Mark Lees has made the case for the public to buy his ‘Bru’ products on a range of websites, and the internet, which has become the new battleground of sorts.
It’s an issue he sees all over Australia and beyond.
Dr Lees says he’s seeing more patients seeking treatment in hospitals than he ever has before.
“It’s really a global issue and we’ve been trying to tackle it with different tools but it’s really becoming a global epidemic,” Dr Lees said.
We’ve got some very, very, good, compassionate doctors out there that are going out there and doing the best they can and it’s very, quite scary.
He said there were about 200 cases in Melbourne and Brisbane last week alone.
People with high fevers and other symptoms have been referred to a range at local hospitals, including Victoria’s Royal Melbourne Hospital, where Dr Leys said he has seen the “best” of the patients.
“(They are) very, Very well-informed, they’ve got very good symptoms and they’re very well-prepared,” he said.
“So they’re not going to go to the emergency room.
They’re not a lot of them, they’re probably a third or a half of the people who will come to the ER and they don’t know what they’re going to get there.”
Dr Leys says it’s not just about the public, but the healthcare system in general.
The current pandemic has had a knock-on effect on the workforce, he said, with more doctors and nurses being needed.
I think that’s really the key issue, and it’ll be very, in my view, a global pandemic.
When I see a case where a nurse comes in, or a doctor comes in or a GP comes in they’re doing their best.
But it’s the hospitals and the doctors and the nurses that are really the most vulnerable, because they’ve all been brought in to treat people and they have to do that on the side.
There’s a huge shortage of staff.
So, it’s just going to be more of a challenge to keep people healthy and to do the things that they’re used to doing.
“I’m really trying to get this right, but it is a lot to handle and I’m struggling to get it done, he added.
A spokesperson for the Australian College of GPs says they are working with local hospitals and health authorities to provide support to doctors and other health workers who have been impacted by the pandemic, and that they will continue to provide ongoing support.