COVID-19 has now reached every corner of the globe and the WHO has officially declared it a pandemic. Unfortunately, the virus can be more severe for certain groups of patients. The mortality rate is significantly higher for the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions.
Those who are immunocompromised are also at great risk. Immunocompromised patients are anyone that has a weakened immune system. The coronavirus is very dangerous for this group of patients, since their immune systems may not be able to keep up the fight.
A person doesn’t necessarily have to have a diagnosis to be classified as immunocompromised. For example, any of the following criteria could indicate that someone has a weak immune system compared to the average in a population:
- People above the age of 60
- Anyone on specific medications or treatment plans that involve steroids, radiation or chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, bone marrow transplants, and organ transplants
- Anyone with chronic conditions or diseases such as heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, malnutrition, or any other serious ailment
If you meet any of these criteria, then you should take extra precautions during this pandemic.
Keep your care or treatment appointments
Continue to keep your scheduled appointments, particularly if you are in the middle of a delicate treatment such as chemotherapy. Make sure your physician is aware of your immunocompromised state, so you may work out appropriate precautions.
During your appointments, minimize your exposure to others as much as possible. Practice social distancing when outside and avoid unnecessary travel. If at all possible, the best option is to use tele-health services. If you usually have a caregiver, friend, or family that accompanies you to these appointments, then make sure they are not sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
Ask your friends and family to help
Ask your caregiver, friends, or family to run errands on your behalf as much as possible to lessen your risk of being exposed to COVID-19. Keep in mind that people can carry the virus even if they aren’t showing symptoms, so it’s important to limit your exposure to anyone outside your immediate household. Ask your caregivers to deliver groceries to your door but leave them outside instead of handing them directly to you. Also consider stockpiling extra reserves of critical medication in case it’s too dangerous to venture outside or there are lockdown measures in effect.
As always, wash your hands frequently and limit face-to-face social interaction. These two measures are the simplest, most effective tactics you can employ to avoid COVID-19. If you experience any coronavirus symptoms such as headaches, a fever, or a persistent dry cough, contact a medical professional immediately.