Coronavirus – Covid-19
The situation with the Coronavirus, Covid-19, is constantly evolving so though we will try and keep our information as up to date as possible people should make sure to follow the latest government guidelines.
Though not specifically mentioned people living with MSA (as for people over 70) come under the NHS England guidance for vulnerable people as they have a chronic neurological condition, The guidance recommends particularly stringent social distancing. 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
In addition, the Association of British Neurologists warns there are certain symptoms associated with neurological disease which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. These include:
- Patients resident in care homes
- Patients with marked swallowing or breathing problems
- Patients with problems with memory or thinking, significant enough that they may struggle to understand or follow healthcare advice.
We know that people living with MSA have marked problems with breathing and swallowing. The recommendation for people with this higher risk is to self–isolate for at least 12 weeks. We therefore recommend that you follow the more stringent advice here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from–covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
Many people living with MSA have not received a letter stating they are extremely vulnerable, however if you live in England we recommend you register yourself as extremely vulnerable following this link https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
It is not yet clear what additional support will be available, so where possible make your own arrangements for shopping and medications to be delivered. We suggest you check the government advice once a day for any update as the situation changes.
The situation with Covid-19 is changing everyday and each situation is different, to keep yourself safe we recommend-
- No one should be making social visits. Try and stay in touch with people over the phone or using the internet where possible.
- If you have regular carers coming in, ask them to wash their hands as soon as they arrive and before they leave. If you have a separate cloakroom downstairs keep that for outside vistors only, use liquid hand wash rather than soap bars.
- All consultations and appointments should now take place over the phone.
- Note that someone with MSA does not always present with a high temperature even when a virus or infection is present (due to autonomic dysfunction). This means that it could be possible for them to have coronavirus without any fever. If MSA symptoms suddenly get worse over a 24/48hr period call your GP surgery for advice, or in an emergency dial 999.
- If you develop mild flu and cold like symptoms follow government advice. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
- Practice good hygiene and wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.
- As Family carers or paid carers may need to suddenly isolate themselves, an alternative care plan should be considered in advance to ensure the person living with MSA continues to receive everything they need. For more information on this please see our page below.
To keep up to date with the latest advice, please keep an eye on the UK Government website: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
Registering as Vulnerable Outside of England
If you live in Scotland you are also advised to practise shielding. If you are struggling to shop they are recomending you contact your Local Authority details of which can be found here https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-shielding-contacts/pages/contacts/. For Further advice on Shielding in Scotland please see here https://www.gov.scot/publications/covid-shielding-contacts/
If you live in the Republic of Ireland please see the below information on ‘cocooning’ for the extremely vulnerable https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/cocooning.html
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