Mar 12, 2020

Coronavirus update from Chronic Pain Ireland

The following is taken from the HSE website (20th March 2020 at 14.15) 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that can affect lungs and airways and the HSE is still learning how it works. Most people who become infected will experience mild illness and recover however there are some groups of people who may be more at risk of serious illness if they catch coronavirus. The HSE do not think these groups have a higher risk of catching coronavirus. This is similar to other infections such as flu.

It is likely you are more at risk of serious illness if you catch coronavirus and you are one of the following:

  • 60 years of age and over.
  • Have a long-term medical condition – for example, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer or high blood pressure.
  • Are immunosuppressed

If you are in an at-risk group take extra care to protect yourself. Think about how you can avoid crowded spaces, especially indoors. Indoor spaces are less well ventilated. The virus is more likely to spread in smaller and more crowded spaces.

You may be caring for a person in an at-risk group. If you are, take extra care to protect yourself and the person you care for. 

Immunosuppressed people

There are many things that can cause a weak immune system, including:

  • cancer treatment
  • treatment for autoimmune diseases
  • HIV
  • having an organ transplant or a bone-marrow transplant

Other lung viruses e.g. flu can cause severe illness in people who have a weak immune system. This is likely to be the same for coronavirus. This is why you should take extra care to prevent infection if you have a weak immune system.  Phone your doctor if you have any symptoms of Corona virus or you are concerned. 

There have been some disruptions to hospital services see this link from HSE official website which is updated daily 

Details of any disruptions should also be notified to patients directly and also via the hospital web-site.

The HSE is recommending that people who have weak immune systems take extra precautions these can be viewed via

Chronic Pain Ireland statement 

Since it started in China in December 2019 more than 80% of affected patients experience mild illness and recover with a very small percentage developing serious symptoms.  However as many of CPI’s members do have a weak immune system, we have cancelled all community events, talks and meetups. 

Public health officials will continue to recommend community actions to help reduce people’s risk of being exposed and in order to slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.

For members who have a weak immune system, it may be worth considering the following in the event of a community spread of the virus:

·         Stocking up on some supplies including your medications if possible.  Contact your GP or health care provider about obtaining extra necessary medications

·         Ensure you have your over-the-counter medicines and any medical supplies you use

·         Have enough household and groceries on hand should you need to stay at home for a period of time (ask for help from family/friends/local community).

·         Take precautions i.e. keep space between yourself and others 

·         If in public limit close contact and wash hands often, avoid crowded venues and events (especially in poorly ventilated spaces).

·         Where you have an upcoming hospital appointment or procedure follow all hospital directives and health care professional advice

If you do have visitors calling to your home, the HSE advise to limit to 2 people at any one time, do not shake hands and ask that hand hygiene by washing.

From today, we have deployed our support and office staff to telephone, email and social media services.  All events are cancelled until further notice.  Should you have any queries please contact CPI on 01 8047567 or email [email protected]

Useful Numbers and web-site links

Contact HSELive on 1850 24 1850 if you think you have been:

  • in contact with someone confirmed as having coronavirus
  • to a healthcare facility in another country where coronavirus patients are being treated

If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, avoid contact with people by self isolating and following the instructions on the HSE website see Phone your GP or emergency department. Do not go to your GP or ED. Phone them first. If you do not have a GP, phone 112 or 999.

You will be put in contact with your local Department of Public Health staff who will give you further assistance

Useful links:

HSE up-to-date advice on corona virus:

World Health Organisation: Advice to the public:

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