UPDATE on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Renal Patients

March 17 2020
On the 16th March the government announced further measures to control the fast growing pandemic of COVID-19 Coronavirus. The measures are designed to delay the number of cases to allow the NHS to cope and in-so-doing, reduce the number of deaths. A key part of the announcements was to introduce the need for social distancing. In particular, the actions are designed to protect vulnerable segments of the population. These include renal patients who have CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease), hypertension, and diabetes. Other factors that increase the risks for renal patients include the use of immunosuppression medication, dialysis, the age of many patients (being over 70) and many suffering from multiple co-existing medical conditions.

Latest Government Advice for High Risk Groups (including renal patients)

Government advice is being continually updated and the latest advice and restrictions can be found by vising www.gov.uk and following the links for COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

On the 16th March the government announced guidance to help protect vulnerable segments of society through the idea of social distancing. Please read the details contained in the article.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

The article further states that if you are on dialysis, immunosuppression medication or receiving cancer treatment you should expect to be contacted by the NHS next week.

Once we have more information on what that means in practice we will post it here and on Facebook.

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For completeness our previous article is included below.

General advice on how to protect yourself

Touching frequently handled objects, particularly in public places, as well as being in close proximity to people coughing and sneezing, are the main ways of spreading the virus.

On the whole the best way to protect yourself is:

  • using and disposing of a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • employing good hand hygiene, by washing hands regularly especially before eating.
  • avoid touching the face especially eyes and mouth.

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/

The virus can be inactivated by alcohol hand gels but also soap and water.

Health Advice

The NHS has a site dedicated to advice on the virus including links to specific advice for people who have been to areas that area high risk.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Kidney Care UK Advice

Kidney Care UK has written a complete guide for renal patients which you should read.

https://www.kidneycareuk.org/news-and-campaigns/coronavirus-advice/

BBC Health Advice Videos

The BBC has produced several advice videos that may be of help.

5 Things you need to know about Coronovirus in the UK

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0833njn/the-news-explained-coronavirus-in-the-uk-5-things-you-need-to-know

Explanation of viruses

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p081948c/the-news-explained-coronavirus-what-are-viruses

As well as a basic guide:

Coronavirus symptoms: What are they and how do I protect myself?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51048366

Technical description of viral transmission 

Coronaviruses are mainly transmitted by large respiratory droplets from infected patients with coughs and sneezes. They can also be spread by direct or indirect contact with infected secretions. The virus has also been detected in blood, faeces and urine and, under certain circumstances, airborne transmission is thought to have occurred from aerosolised respiratory secretions and faecal material. 

 

Travel Advice

The Foreign Office is recommending against travel to some countries and this is continually changing. For the latest information visit:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

and then search for a specificl country, and it will then provide details of risks.

If you plan to travel, talk to the renal team if you need more advice.

Visiting China

The Foreign office website has good information for different locations and is updated frequently. This will contain the most up-to-date travel advice and should supercede any information here. Below is the link for China

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china

It also contains links to a “heath section” that gives advice on how to avoid infections and also has links to other websites.

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