I suffer from an asbestos-related disease, should I be concerned about coronavirus?
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a new illness that primarily affects the respiratory system.
This virus affects everyone differently, with most only displaying mild symptoms. However, for those with pre-existing conditions, COVID-19 can be more serious.
Given that the virus impacts the lungs, those who already suffer from asbestos-related disease are concerned.
On Monday 23rd March, the government began sending letters to people across the UK that are at a higher risk of becoming very ill.
Those considered at higher risk include people:
over the age of 70
with underlying health conditions such as asthma and diabetes
compromised immune systems
If you have been diagnosed, or suspected to have an asbestos-related disease, it is important to follow these guidelines provided by the NHS and practice social distancing, including:
Asking friends, family and neighbours to help with your shopping or picking up any medication you may need. It is recommended that anything being dropped off is left at your door to prevent any personal interaction.
Avoid any face to face interactions with anyone not part of your household. This includes anyone part of your household who is displaying symptoms.
Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds at a time and try not to touch your face. In particular your eyes, nose and mouth.
We appreciate that these safety measures can be a challenge. With this in mind there are a few things you can do to make things a little easier.
Keep in regular contact with family and friends through phone calls. There are also a number of free apps that can be downloaded to your smart phone that can be used to video call such as FaceTime, WhatsApp and Zoom.
It is important to consider that if you are not on an active treatment, any routine appointments or scans may be cancelled or changed to a later date to ease pressure on the NHS during this outbreak.
If you are on any routine medication, then please ensure you have enough supply to allow you to take these as usual.
As always, if you want to chat through your concerns or simply speak to someone, you can still get in touch with the team at Asbestos Action on 0800 196 1861. We’re here to help where we can.