The coronavirus (COVID-19) is dominating the news the past few weeks as more cases are being reported around the world. COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways.
Symptoms of coronavirus:
a persistent dry cough
a high temperature
shortness of breath
But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus:
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Coronavirus and ED:
We have received a number of enquiries about the advice on frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitisers to reduce coronavirus risk.
Handwashing is the best way to reduce transmission of coronavirus and washing your hands with water and your usual emollient soap substitute should be adequate. Emollient helps remove the virus from your hands during the washing process and serves the same cleansing purpose as soap.
We recommend that you continue to use emollient to wash your hands (decant a small amount into a pump dispenser or pot and refresh daily) and re-apply your emollient afterwards. If you feel you need to use sanitising gel (which may irritate your eczema), apply your usual emollient afterwards to minimise any irritant effect. There is no eczema-friendly hand sanitiser, as they all contain alcohol, which dries out the skin.
In public places where you can’t avoid touching surfaces, try not to touch your nose, eyes or mouth (or your child’s) because the virus gets in through mucous membranes.
There is a possibility of increased risk of chest infection/pneumonia from Covid-19, specifically for people with HED. The flow of mucous is different for those with ED. Respiratory tract infections are a common symptom in general, so it would be sensible for people with HED who have had serious chest infections at any stage (either as young children or as adults) to take COVID-19 seriously and act on the general advice about minimising risk of infection. We advise you use a humidifier at night along with a fan to help keep you cool (and air con if you have it).
The other difficulty with COVID-19 and ED will be temperature issues, due to one of the symptoms being a high temperature. Please remember to continue to act on all cooling methods and products you currently use. Take a look also at our Cooling Tips.
Do I need to avoid public places?
Stay at home
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
- Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Don’t hesitate to call your GP to get the most up to date advice. Calling 111 will give information relating to everyone and not specifically those with ED and who cannot sweat.