Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Covid 19 FAQS | Nutricia Adult Healthcare

General FAQs

I am feeling well, but I want to see my mother/father at their home, what should I do?

It is important to follow protocols that have been set in your local state or territory. These may change day by day. Please check them on a regular basis, especially if you are in contact with those who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as elderly people. If your parents have an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, due to their age or their health condition then where possible, connect with them through internet, Skype or phone and remind them that this is a temporary situation to protect them because they are important to you. Think about ways to keep in touch regularly and ensure that your parents have a means to contact you. If you are visiting an older relative for an essential purpose, you should keep a safe distance, preferably at least 1.5 metres apart, no kissing, hugging or handshakes, and wash your hands well and often, using sanitizer gel when it is not possible to wash.

Can I take my mother (70 years old) out for a walk?

Older adults should take precautions to reduce risk of exposure to the virus. This includes limiting unnecessary exposure to other people, poorly ventilated areas, and ensuring enough space between them and others. It is thus important to follow guidance that has been set in your local state or territory, and be aware of measures implemented to limit the spread of the virus and exposure for the most vulnerable population. These may change day by day; please check them on a regular basis. If you are able to go outside, stay at least 1.5 metres away from others.

Should I do the grocery shopping instead of my parents?

Older adults and adults with health conditions should take precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus. This includes limiting unnecessary exposure to other people, poorly ventilated areas, and ensuring enough space between them and others. It is thus important to follow guidance that has been set in your local state or territory, and be aware of measures implemented to limit the spread of the virus and exposure for the most vulnerable population. These may change day by day; please check them on a regular basis. If you are able to go outside, stay at least 1.5 metres from others. If possible, ensure that your parents have enough supplies on hand in case they need to stay at home, including groceries, household items and medications. Help them by taking care of their grocery shopping and avoid letting your parents handle that. Consider using home delivery services for groceries or meals, avoiding contact with the delivery staff, to ensure that your parents have a supply of nutritious food.

I have parents and/or relatives living in a care home. Should I stop visiting them?

It is important to follow guidance that has been set in your local state or territory, and care facility. Be aware of measures implemented to limit the spread of the virus and exposure for the most vulnerable population, including those set by the care home itself.These may change day by day; please check them on a regular basis. Currently there are strict measures in place across Australia and New Zealand for visiting Aged Care facilities.

My parent is taking a medical nutrition supplement. Should I pick up the products at the pharmacy so my parent can stay home?

It is important to follow guidance that has been set in your local area or state, and be aware of measures implemented to limit the spread of the virus and exposure for the most vulnerable population. These may change day by day; please check them on a regular basis. If you are able to go outside, stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. It is wise to ensure sufficient supply of medical nutrition products at home in case your parents need to stay home. You can discuss with your local pharmacy how to ensure continuity of supply over time or if it is easier you can place an online subscription order to ensure automatic and scheduled delivery at a frequency of your choice.

Medical nutrition products and tube feeding practices

Could there be COVID-19 on the products? Could my child/parents be infected due to COVID-19 on ONS/tube feeding products?

We are taking all necessary precautions and measures to ensure total product safety by applying high product safety standards and quality controls throughout the value chain, from the sourcing of our raw material and packaging to the delivery of our products.The risk of infections arising from contact with food ingredients or packaging coming from affected areas, sourced from commercial suppliers, is considered negligible as stated by all official organizations (WHO, EFSA, ECDC) and Australia and New Zealand government health departments.COVID-19 is spread predominantly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to suggest transmission of the virus is associated with food or medical nutrition products. Before preparing/consuming/delivering ONS or tube feeding products, it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds for general food safety.

Should I wear a mask while I am caring for his/her tube feeding?

If you are sick: You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g. sharing a room or vehicle, meeting a healthcare professional). If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes. People who are caring for you should wear a face mask if they enter your room.If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a face mask). For instruction on how to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask, please click here.Remember to wash your hands thoroughly prior to handling tube feed equipment. For further advice on medical devices and consumables, such as feeding sets, please follow recommendations provided by your treating healthcare professional.

Should my child / parent wear a mask?

If they are sick: they should wear a face mask when they are around other people (e.g. sharing a room or vehicle, meeting a healthcare professional). If they are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then they should do their best to cover their coughs and sneezes.If they are NOT sick: they do not have to wear a face mask.

Oral nutritional supplements (ONS) 

Do I need medical nutrition if I am at risk of COVID-19?

No, being at risk of COVID-19 does not mean that you need medical nutrition. Talk to your healthcare professional if you would like further advice on whether medical nutrition is appropriate for you.

Do I need medical nutrition if I have COVID-19 infection?

Medical nutrition is specially formulated for patients with a diagnosed medical condition and must be used under medical supervision. Medical nutrition is generally not needed if you have mild illness. If your symptoms are mild, follow the advice issued by the Australian Government on what to do. If in doubt, always seek medical advice. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and eat regular meals. Ask for help from friends or family to deliver shopping or meals. Make sure you follow the precautions outlined by the Australian Government regarding contact with other people and personal hygiene to avoid spreading the virus.In most people, the illness caused by COVID-19 is generally mild but in some people, it can cause serious illness. Health experts are still learning about how COVID-19 affects people, but it appears that older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions may develop more serious illness more often than others. If you have a pre-existing medical condition that has made it difficult for you to eat and drink enough to meet your body’s needs, and you are already taking medical nutrition, you should continue to take them as recommended by your healthcare professional. If you are having problems taking your medical nutrition contact your healthcare professional for advice. Make sure you follow government advice about how to contact your healthcare professional.Medical nutrition may only be indicated if you develop a more serious illness as a result of COVID-19. Your healthcare professional will make this assessment and recommend it, if needed. If you are worried about yourself or a loved one being malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, talk to your healthcare professional.

Do I need medical nutrition when I am recovering from a COVID-19 infection?

Medical nutrition products are foods for special medical purposes specially formulated for people with diagnosed medical conditions and must be used under medical supervision.

If you are recovering from a more serious illness from a COVID-19 infection, and you have been told that you are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, then you may need medical nutrition. Your healthcare professional will recommend a medical nutrition solution if needed based on your situation.

Is medical nutrition safe for me to take if I am at risk of a COVID-19 infection?

Medical nutrition products are foods for special medical purposes that are specially formulated for people with a diagnosed medical condition and must be used under medical supervision. Based on healthcare professional advice, medical nutrition products are safe for most people to take even if they are at risk of a COVID-19 infection.If you have been given individual dietary advice because of a pre-existing medical condition by a healthcare professional, you should continue to follow that advice. If you are already taking medical nutrition products regularly, continue to take them as recommended by your healthcare professional.

Is medical nutrition safe for me to take if I have a COVID-19 infection?

Medical nutrition products are foods for special medical purposes that are specially formulated for patients with a diagnosed medical condition and must be used under medical supervision. Based on healthcare professional advice, medical nutrition products are safe for most people to take even if they have a COVID-19 infection. If you have a mild COVID-19 infection, medical nutrition is generally not needed. In more severe cases, medical nutrition can be a helpful way to support you during the acute phase by bridging the gap until your normal food intake is fully restored.If you have been given individual dietary advice because of a pre-existing medical condition by a healthcare professional, you should continue to follow that advice. If you are already taking medical nutrition, continue to take them as recommended by your healthcare professional.

Is medical nutrition safe for me to take when I am recovering after a COVID-19 infection?

Medical nutrition products are foods for special medical purposes that are specially formulated for patients with a diagnosed medical condition and must be used under medical supervision. Yes, medical nutrition is safe for you to take if you have had a COVID-19 infection and are now recovering, based on healthcare professional advice. If you have had a mild illness from COVID-19, medical nutrition products are generally not required. In more severe cases, medical nutrition can be a helpful way to support your recovery by helping you bridge the gap until your normal food intake is fully restored. If you have been given individual dietary advice because of a pre-existing medical condition by a healthcare professional, you should continue to follow that advice. If you are already taking medical nutrition, continue to take them as recommended by your healthcare professional.

Are there any special measures during this COVID-19 outbreak that I should consider with respect to the handling of medical nutrition products or devices?

Before using any medical nutrition products or devices, wash your hands thoroughly. Wet your hands with water, lather them up properly, on both sides, in between the fingers and under the nails, one hand and then the other. Rinse them thoroughly under running water for 20 seconds. Rinsing thoroughly is key to washing away any trace of the virus. Dry your hands well with a disposable towel, then use that towel to turn off the tap before throwing it away. When it is not possible to wash, use a hydroalcoholic gel containing between 60-95% alcohol.Always check the label of your medical nutrition products for instructions on how to prepare, use and store them.

Why would I need medical nutrition during this COVID-19 outbreak?

If you are unwell or recovering from illness it can be hard to get all the energy and nutrients you need from your diet alone, especially if you have a poor appetite or symptoms that make eating and/or drinking difficult (e.g. nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, a sore mouth or swallowing difficulties). This can put you at risk of disease-related malnutrition. Oral nutritional supplements are foods for special medical purposes that are specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of people with disease-related malnutrition and must be used under medical supervision. Medical nutrition can provide additional energy, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Further reading (AUS) 

Australian Government information and advice regarding COVID-19: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19State-based government information and advice regarding COVID-19:

World Health Organisation (WHO) Q&A on COVID-19: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronavirusesWHO guidance on use of masks: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masksCenters for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Further reading (NZ) 

New Zealand Government information and advice regarding COVID-19: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-health-advice-general-publicWorld Health Organisation (WHO) Q&A on COVID-19: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronavirusesWHO guidance on use of masks: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masksCenters for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html