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COVID-19 is here to stay

Although we don’t hear about COVID-19 as much as we used to, it is still part of life whether we like it or not. That’s why it’s always a good idea to stay proactive. Because life awaits. Planning for COVID-19 means knowing exactly what to do if you develop COVID-19 symptoms. Testing early and talking to your doctor should be part of your COVID-19 plan, so you can get back to doing what you enjoy, sooner.

Antiviral treatments may be available if you or a loved one are at high risk of severe COVID-19 and test positive. However, they must be taken without delay.

Do you have COVID-19?

It’s important to know the symptoms of COVID-19, so you can test as early as possible. It’s not always that easy to tell the difference between COVID-19 and other illnesses, such as influenza or the common cold.¹  The symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe. Some people recover easily, while others get very sick very quickly.¹

Symptoms of COVID-19 include: 1

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhoea


Test at the first sign of symptoms

Did you know that it is possible to be infected with COVID-19 but receive a negative RAT result? If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, get tested immediately and talk to your doctor if you do test positive. It’s advised that you stay at home until your results are confirmed by a PCR test.2 If you can’t get an appointment with your own doctor, you can book with HealthEngine for a telehealth appointment.

Are you at risk for severe COVID-19?

It is important to test, as certain health issues could put you at risk of severe COVID-19 illness. These may include:³

  • Age ≥ 70 years
  • Certain heart conditions
  • Ongoing kidney disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Moderately to severely immunocompromised

For further information about risk factors click here.

Antiviral treatments are available

Antiviral treatments are available for those at higher risk of severe illness and must be taken as soon as possible after symptoms of COVID-19 begin.⁴ If you are at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness and test positive, talk to your doctor for advice.

You may be eligible for COVID-19 antivirals if you test positive and you are:4

  • 70 years of age or older, regardless of risk factors and with or without symptoms
  • 50 years of age or older with additional risk factor/s for developing severe disease
  • First Nations people, 30 years of age or older and with one additional risk factor for developing severe disease
  • 18 years of age or older, moderately to severely immunocompromised
  • 18 years of age or older and have had past COVID-19 infection resulting in hospitalisation

It is important to have an early discussion with your doctor about the current medications you are taking, including any over-the-counter products, vitamins and natural therapies. Your doctor will recommend what treatment option is best for you

Terms and Conditions

Copyright © 2023 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.
Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Limited. Level 1 – Building A, 26 Talavera Road, Macquarie Park NSW 2113. AU-ANV-00335. Issued October 2023.


1.  About Coronavirus (COVID-19). Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Accessed 25 September 2023. https://www.health.gov.au/topics/covid-19/about

2. What COVID-19 test should I do? NSW Government. Accessed 13 September 2023. https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/testing-managing/rat-or-pcr-test

3. Groups at higher risk from COVID-19 | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care (v1.0). Accessed 20 September 2023. https://www.health.gov.au/topics/covid-19/protect-yourself-and-others/high-risk-groups

4. Updated eligibility for oral COVID-19 treatments. Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Accessed 14 August 2023. https://www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19/treatments/eligibility

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