Updated coronavirus information

Written by Jessica Bomford, March 17, 2020

Last updated: Tuesday, 24 March 2020

The coronavirus outbreak in the UK

Many of you are understandably concerned about the spread of coronavirus.

There is no evidence that people with a bleeding disorder are any more likely to catch the virus than the general population but it is important to continue to follow the latest advice on minimising the chances of catching or passing it on.

The situation is constantly changing. The best way of keeping up to date with the latest advice is through the Government’s website.

As far as possible, the Government wants everyone to access medical assistance remotely. We suggest that you phone your haemophilia centre for advice before attending hospital for the treatment of bleeds. Most hospitals are now cancelling routine appointments or doing them by telephone. Please follow the advice of your local hospital.

Will coronavirus affect my home delivery of treatment?

The Haemophilia Society has been in touch with commissioners who have reassured us that plans are in place to ensure the continuity of supply is maintained. We will continue to monitor this situation closely.

What if I’m HIV positive or have hepatitis?

The Government says that people with HIV and AIDS and people with chronic liver disease such as hepatitis are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19).

This means you need to be particularly vigilant when following the Government’s social distancing advice.

I’ve had a transplant – am I at risk?

If you have had a transplant and remain on immunosuppression medication you are at even higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. NHS England will contact you directly this week by text message or letter with details of extra measures you should take in order to keep safe.

How do I know if I’m at risk?

The Government’s list of people who it thinks are extremely vulnerable to coronavirus can be found here, along with advice about how to protect yourself.

What is social distancing?

The Government has asked everyone to stay at home in order to limit the spread of coronavirus. This will protect the NHS and save lives.

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  1. Shopping for basic necessities, such as food and medicine
  2. One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  3. Any medical need, or to help a vulnerable person
  4. Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • stay at home
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • use phone, online services or apps to contact your GP or other NHS surgeries
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • do not have visitors to your home, including friends and family

What to do if you think you might have coronavirus

If you think you might have coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has it:

  • stay at home and avoid close contact with other people
  • do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
  • You will not be tested for coronavirus if you are staying at home
  • Do not call NHS 111 to tell them you are staying at home

Use the NHS 111 coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after seven days

Only use the telephone NHS111 service if you do not have internet access.

Use this link to find medical help near you.