PFF COVID-19 Guidance Statement

Mar 16, 2020, 13:56 PM
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The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation medical team is actively monitoring the evolving outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus to evaluate the potential health implications for the pulmonary fibrosis (PF) community in the USA.

COVID-19 results from an infection by a respiratory virus (coronavirus) that can lead to inflammation and injury within the lungs. In some people, this can progress to a serious illness. However, most people infected with the virus will not become gravely ill.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified certain groups that are at higher risk for developing serious illness if they become infected. These include individuals with severe chronic medical conditions, compromised immune systems and those who are elderly.

People living with PF are considered higher risk and should take special precautions to prevent respiratory infections, such as COVID-19, influenza, and other pulmonary pathogens, and limit complications. The CDC’s guidelines for people at higher risk are available here.

The CDC, National Institutes of Health and other infectious disease researchers are currently working together to study how the virus is transmitted and to develop a vaccine to treat those infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

How is it Spread?

The virus is thought to spread primarily from droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes within six feet of other people. Also, it may be spread when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touches the eyes, nose or mouth.

Symptoms

Symptoms, which are not specific for COVID-19, appear to occur within 14 days of exposure and should be communicated to your physician include:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath

Contact your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms or think you have been exposed.

Precautions

While there is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus, everyday preventive actions will help avoid the spread of the virus –

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available. Please see the CDC’s Handwashing Information for more information.

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to reduce the spread of the disease to others.

  • Avoid travel to places where COVID-19 has occurred.

Information

Stay informed by visiting the CDC’s website and following instructions from your local public health officials.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

 

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