COVID-19, the disease caused by the new Coronavirus, has spread faster than global health officials have been able to contain. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned this week that the American public, especially those with weak immune systems (such as Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients), should prepare for outbreaks across the US. Hence, the risk of infection is higher if you suffer from Kidney Disease and Dialysis. This should not be surprising since patients who undergo Dialysis treatment have an increased risk of getting an infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The following tailored tips will help you protect yourself and loved ones:
Coronavirus is spread mainly from person to person. Older adults and people with kidney disease or other severe chronic medical conditions seem to be at higher risk for more serious Coronavirus illness. Because of this increased risk for kidney patients, it is especially important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of exposure. If a Coronavirus outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends these actions to reduce your exposure. These actions can slow the spread and reduce the impact of the disease.
If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from Coronavirus, you should:
- Stock up on supplies
- Take everday precautions (see below) to keep space between yourself and others
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid crowds as much as possible
- During a Coronavirus outbreak in your area, stay home as much as possible.
- Stay home if you feel sick or have any symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are on dialysis, you should NOT miss your treatments. Contact your clinic if you feel sick or have any concerns.
- Avoid others who are sick. Limiting face-to-face contact with others as much as possible.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If you don’t have soap and water, use hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
- Clean very often the things that get touched a lot, like door handles
- Avoid touching your face, especially your nose and mouth.
- Wear a facemask if your healthcare team or someone from the public health office says you should.
March 19, 2020, New York, NY— Kidney patients are among the high-risk groups of people with chronic medical conditions who may experience more serious COVID-19 illness. While kidney patients are being encouraged to stay home and avoid crowds as much as possible during the outbreak, those treated with in-center hemodialysis must also continue their scheduled dialysis clinic treatments, which are prescribed three to four times a week. Here is an article from National Kidney Foundation you might be interested in reading further: