Update on Coronavirus from APF
Due to the rapidly changing environment we have included links to trusted government sites where information will be the most up to date.
We understand that patients and their families with pulmonary fibrosis may be feeling anxious and concerned about COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to flu often starting with
- a cough,
- a fever
- feeling short of breath.
What to do if you experience symptoms?
If you have these symptoms, and you’ve travelled in the last month from high risk areas or if you’ve been in contact with someone who has, call NHS 111 for advice rather than your ILD Team.
If you are worried that your symptoms are developing more, contact your ILD Team or GP. Start to prepare a plan if you start to feel worse than usual.
Importance of social distancing
Due to the risks surrounding COVID-19, if you have pulmonary fibrosis or are supporting someone who has, we encourage you to practice social distancing.
This means significantly reduce social contact where possible, to avoid putting yourself or someone close to you at risk.
How to main social distancing –
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
- Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
- Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
- Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.
How to keep yourself safe
There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- washing your hands more often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser when you get home or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- avoid close contact with people who have symptoms
- cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home
Professor Gisli Jenkins, a leading respiratory researcher and clinician at the University of Nottingham says:
“The advice remains the same if you have pulmonary fibrosis as proposed by Public Health England – wash your hands, throw tissues in the toilets and cough into your elbow”.
The Mental Health Foundation has produced some great information on how to manage anxiety during the coronavirus.
We will keep you updated on our website and social channels with the latest advice.