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From The CDC - Center for Disease Control : Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Who is at higher risk?
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
Older adultsPeople who have serious chronic medical conditions like:Heart diseaseDiabetesLung disease

Get ready for COVID-19 now

Take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick
If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.
Stock up on supplies.Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.Avoid crowds as much as possible.Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
Have supplies on hand
Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
Take everyday precautions
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Take everyday preventive actions:
Clean your hands oftenWash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.Avoid all non-essential travel including plane trips, and especially avoid embarking on cruise ships.
If COVID-19 is spreading in your community
Take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus.
Stay home as much as possible.Consider ways of getting food brought to your house through family, social, or commercial networks
If a COVID-19 outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time. (An outbreak is when a large number of people suddenly get sick.) Depending on how severe the outbreak is, public health officials may recommend community actions to reduce people’s risk of being exposed to COVID-19. These actions can slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.
Have a plan for if you get sick
Consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.Stay in touch with others by phone or email. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, community health workers, etc. if you become sick.Determine who can care for you if your caregiver gets sick.
Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs
Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:Difficulty breathing or shortness of breathPersistent pain or pressure in the chestNew confusion or inability to arouseBluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

What to do if you get sick

Stay home and call your doctor.Call your healthcare provider and let them know about your symptoms. Tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help them take care of you and keep other people from getting infected or exposed.If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home. Follow CDC instructions for how to take care of yourself at home.Know when to get emergency help.Get medical attention immediately if you have any of the emergency warning signs listed above.

What others can do to support older adults

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(Originally posted by Stuart)
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UPDATED information: The coronavirus and MS – What You need to know - ALL MS Patients need to Read this message

UPDATED information: The coronavirus and MS – What You need to know - ALL MS Patients need to Read this message
Last updated: 13th March 2020


 

Global COVID-19 advice for people with MS
  provided by: MS International Federation

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It is caused by a novel coronavirus that was first detected in people in China in December 2019 and has since spread to other parts of the world.
There is currently no evidence on how COVID-19 affects people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The advice below was developed by MS neurologists and research experts from MSIF’s member organisations. Click here to download the full statement including the list of consulted individuals and organisations.
This advice will be reviewed and updated as evidence about COVID-19 becomes available.

Advice for people with MS

People with underlying lung and heart conditions and those aged over 60 years are more likely to experience complications and become severely ill with the COVID-19 virus. This group will include many people living with MS, especially those with additional health complications, mobility issues and those taking some MS treatments.
All people with MS are advised to pay particular attention to guidelines for reducing the risk of infection with COVID-19. Older people with MS, especially those who also have lung or heart diseases should take extra care to minimise their exposure to the virus. The World Health Organization recommendations include:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rubAvoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are cleanTry to keep at least 1 metre distance between yourself and others, particularly those who are coughing and sneezingWhen coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissuePractise food safety by using different chopping boards for raw meat and cooked foods and wash your hands between handling them.
In addition, we recommend that people with MS should:
Avoid public gatherings and crowdsAvoid using public transport where possibleWhere possible, use alternatives to face-to-face routine medical appointments (for example, telephone appointments).
Caregivers and family members who live with, or regularly visit, a person with MS should also follow these recommendations to reduce the chance of bringing COVID-19 infection into the home.

Advice regarding disease-modifying therapies for MS

Many disease modifying therapies (DMTs) for MS work by suppressing or modifying the immune system. Some MS medications might increase the likelihood of developing complications from a COVID-19 infection but this risk needs to be balanced with the risks of stopping treatment. We recommend that:
People with MS currently taking DMTs continue with their treatment.
People who develop symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for the infection discuss their MS therapies with their MS care provider or another health care professional who is familiar with their care.
Before starting on any new DMT, people with MS discuss with their healthcare professional which therapy is the best choice for their individual disease course and disease activity in light of COVID-19 risk in the region.
Those who are due to start on a DMT but have not yet done so, should consider selecting a treatment that does not reduce specific immune cells (lymphocytes). Examples include: interferons, Glatiramer Acetate, or Natalizumab. Medications that reduce lymphocytes over longer intervals include Alemtuzumab, Cladribine, Ocrelizumab and rituximab.
 The following oral DMTs may reduce the ability of the immune system to respond to an infection: Fingolimod, Dimethyl Fumarate, Teriflunomide and Siponimod. People should carefully consider the risks and benefits of initiating these treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
People with MS who are currently taking Alemtuzumab, Cladribine, Ocrelizumab, rituximab, Fingolimod, Dimethyl Fumarate, Teriflunomide or Siponimod and are living in a community with a COVID-19 outbreak should isolate as much as possible to reduce their risk of infection.
Recommendations on delaying second or further doses of Alemtuzumab, Cladribine, Ocrelizumab and rituximab due to the COVID-19 outbreak differ between countries. People who take these medications and are due for the next dose should consult their healthcare professional about the risks and benefits of postponing treatment.

Advice regarding aHSCT

Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Treatment (aHSCT) includes intensive chemotherapy treatment. This severely weakens the immune system for a period of time. People who have recently undergone treatment should extend the period they remain in isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak. People who are due to undergo treatment should consider postponing the procedure in consultation with their healthcare professional.

Advice for children or pregnant women with MS

At this time there is no specific advice for women with MS who are pregnant. There is general information on COVID-19 and pregnancy on the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention website.
There is no specific advice for children with MS; they should follow the advice above for people with MS.

More information from the World Health Organisation.

You can also find out the answers to some commonly asked questions about COVID-19 on the World Health Organization’s website.
Find out more about COVID-19 in the short informational video below, from the World Health Organization.


This article was published by  MS International Federation

and shared for YOUR Benefit by #MSViewsandNews
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Visit our MS Learning Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/msviewsandnews
(Originally posted by Stuart)
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