About coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is coronavirus (COVID-19) and am I at risk?

Coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus.

The most common symptoms are a continuous cough and/or a high temperature (fever). People may also lose their sense of taste or smell. For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild infection.

However, some people are more vulnerable to getting severe symptoms.

There are 2 levels of higher risk:

  1. high risk – people who are clinically extremely vulnerable
  2. moderate risk – people who are clinically vulnerable

 

High risk – clinically extremely vulnerable:

  • have had an organ transplant
  • are having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy
  • are having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer
  • are having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
  • have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine
  • have been told by a doctor they have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)
  • have a condition that means they have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)
  • are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)
  • have a serious heart condition and are pregnant

People who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable will have received a letter from their GP and are highly advised to shield to protect themselves from COVID-19.

From 1 August 2020, shielding will be paused. The Government continues to advise people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to take extra care to protect themselves from COVID-19, such as following social distancing guidelines and to stay at home as much as possible.

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

 

Moderate risk – clinically vulnerable

People at moderate risk from coronavirus include people who:

  • are 70 or older
  • have a lung condition that’s not severe (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis)
  • have heart disease (such as heart failure)
  • have diabetes
  • have chronic kidney disease
  • have liver disease (such as hepatitis)
  • have a condition affecting the brain or nerves (such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy)
  • have a condition that means they have a high risk of getting infections
  • are taking medicine that can affect the immune system (such as low doses of steroids)
  • are very obese (a BMI of 40 or above)
  • are pregnant

People classed as clinically vulnerable will not get a letter from the NHS, This group are advised to continue to follow the Government guidance on keeping themselves safe, such as following social distancing rules and maintaining good hygiene.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/

 

Last updated: 1 July 2020, 12.56pm