COVID updates Australia: Kim died shortly after catching coronavirus. Experts say the virus is still a serious threat & More Trending News


When Sydney healthcare employee Melanie Leffler stated goodnight, her family members had no concept it will be the final time they’d communicate to her.

The 39-year-old mother-of-two died in her sleep on November 19, simply hours after she examined constructive for COVID-19.

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While Melanie’s reason behind loss of life is but to be confirmed by a coroner’s report, her brother Kris Leffler says the household believes it was heart-related.

While dying with COVID doesn’t essentially imply it is the reason behind loss of life, it additionally doesn’t low cost the truth SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes the sickness – can have an effect on the coronary heart.

Melanie Leffler died in her sleep quickly after contracting COVID-19. Credit: Kim Welinski/Supplied to

The virus can immediately invade the physique inflicting irritation which may impression the coronary heart and trigger myocarditis and pericarditis, which is irritation of the coronary heart muscle or outer lining of the coronary heart, University of Sydney medication professor Garry Jennings stated.

This irritation can even trigger blood clotting, which may block a coronary heart or mind artery and trigger a coronary heart assault or stroke.

“COVID can also cause abnormal heart rhythms, blood clots in the legs and lungs, and heart failure,” Jennings wrote in The Conversation, including there is still a lot to study how the virus impacts the coronary heart.

Mel’s household has been rocked by her loss of life and need others to know her story, fairly than simply a quantity in the statistics of those that have died with the virus.

At least two-thirds of Australians have been contaminated with the virus since the pandemic started and greater than 13,000 folks have died with or from COVID by October 31, in response to the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Leffler informed his sister was one among the “hardest working, goal-oriented, strong-willed women” he has ever had the privilege of understanding.

Leffler stated Mel, who labored as a genetic counsellor, was impressed to review medical science by her personal bout with sickness, Wilms’ tumour – a uncommon kidney most cancers that primarily impacts youngsters.

“She suffered from the age of 12 months, which left her with only one kidney, followed by 18 months of chemotherapy, and achieved full remission by seven years old,” Leffler stated.

“Mel always wanted a beautiful family but was fearful that her chemotherapy in early life may have affected her reproductive system, but she took time out of her hectic work schedule to try and begin a family.”

Siblings Joel, Mel along with her daughter Ottilie, Kris and Ben Leffler. Credit: Supplied to

Leffler says he’ll always remember the day Mel introduced the information of her first being pregnant.

“We were in a restaurant on Father’s Day and she excitedly announced to the table, ‘Next year Mick will be celebrating his first Father’s Day as a dad’,” he stated.

“The following year, in typical Mel style, she organised an engagement party which turned into a surprise wedding.

“Mel was the perfect combination of traditional and non-traditional in her beliefs and actions and this was represented in the way she lived her life, her way.”

She leaves behind husband Mick to care for his or her two daughters, Clementine, 4, and nine-month-old Ottilie, who was still breastfeeding.

The household has launched a fundraiser to assist Mick and the youngsters.

“No one should be burying a partner, sister or daughter at 39,” Leffler stated.

Mel has been remembered as one among the ‘hardest working, goal oriented, strong willed women’ her brother Kris knew. Credit: Supplied to

‘Aware but not fearful’

Leffler says his sister was totally vaccinated towards COVID-19 with 4 doses and at all times took precautions to restrict her publicity to the virus.

But the danger of publicity in the group is excessive even with finest efforts, Deakin University epidemiology chair Catherine Bennett stated.

“While infections rates are up, even if they are tapering, it still means our infection rate is high and exposure risk is high,” she informed

“We don’t want people to be fearful but they should be aware enough that they’re reacting.”

The virus still poses a actual danger to the group, Bennett says, and whereas Australia has tailored to residing with COVID, it doesn’t imply it must be out of thoughts.

“Where we’ve moved to now is you can’t control SARS-CoV-2 in the population,” Bennett stated.

“With every variant we saw a great challenge and our measures became less effective.”

Omicron proved this, with the variant showing to have a shorter incubation interval making folks most infectious early on.

Most transmission seems to happen throughout the one to 2 days earlier than signs seem and in the two to a few days afterwards, that means folks will be infectious in the group earlier than they even know they’ve the virus.

“There is no way to identify cases and contain them before they’re already infecting,” Bennett stated.

Deakin University epidemiology chair Professor Catherine Bennett. Credit: Supplied

An instance of this was China, she explains, which has been doing all the pieces it might probably to stamp out the virus with its zero-COVID strategy however has been unsuccessful.

“It runs in the community … we can’t put it back in the box,” she stated, including “exposure is a given at the moment”.

But folks can attempt to handle their very own danger.

“We do think it is really important for people vulnerable with serious illness and those concerned about long COVID to still reduce the chance that exposure can turn into infection,” Bennett stated.

For those that are immunocompromised, resembling University of South Australia biostatistics and epidemiology chair Professor Adrian Esterman, taking steps to guard themselves is essential.

“The government isn’t protecting people, so people should do it themselves,” Esterman informed earlier this week.

“I know lots of people who simply won’t go out anymore.

“Even though I’m a full-time professor, I’ve hardly travelled … I can’t afford to get COVID because I could get very sick.”

Bennett additionally known as for extra constant nationwide well being messaging about the altering danger the virus poses to the group to bolster what folks can and will do.

“We need health departments to step up to help interpret data to get good, scientifically-based but publicly understandable interpretation,” she stated.

“It helps people feel they’ve got some control over it.

“As soon as case numbers push up, people would find it reassuring to know we’re on the same page with consistent understanding of evidence to then rely on and follow the advice.”

A cruise ship with 800 constructive COVID circumstances docked in Sydney on Saturday morning.

A cruise ship with 800 constructive COVID circumstances docked in Sydney on Saturday morning.

COVID updates Australia: Kim died shortly after catching coronavirus. Experts say the virus is still a serious threat

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COVID updates Australia: Kim died shortly after catching coronavirus. Experts say the virus is still a serious threat

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