I have advanced parkinsons, i am 58, i have a six year old daughter. The uk government unlike ireland, spain, and etc. has decided not to close schools. This means those in my condition are placed at a higher risk. What to do?
we have choosen to takeour daughter out fo school. This will place a heavy strain on us.
I completely understand your concern and although people with advanced Parkinson’s slight increased risk of complications if you have coronavirus, this is the same for other viruses, such as the flu. I would encourage you to speak to your daughters’ school about the decision you’ve made to ensure you’re not breaking any laws/rules.
Generally, it’s best to follow the current NHS and Government advice on sensible precautions, such as hygiene, international travel, and cruises.
However, you may have specific instructions from your health care team. These will be in your personal interests and are in addition to general advice. If you need more help and support, you can always speak to our helpline on 0808 800 0303.
You can get vaccinated for flu, and most of us have some resistance anyway from having been infected in the past. This is a totally new situation.
Have read all the guidelines and it boils down to being ‘strongly advised’ that PWP need to take 'strict social distancing ’ measures ie: you don’t go out and you avoid unnecessary social contact.
I note that Reah (who I think works for PUK ) has ansered Tiger’s POST on the current virus.
And Reah says “’ people with advanced Parkinson’s slight increased risk of complications if you have coronavirus, this is the same for other viruses, such as the flu”.
Reading the press generally it sounds like 99% of those in the UK who catch the virus will be ok … though the remainder may be ‘severely’ ill or die.
Once I realised we were in greater risk I have stayed in , not even gone to the shop. I haven’t seen in any of the official documenrtation a reference to how much the odds (on having a severe illness) are changed if u are a PWP.
But Reah mentions ‘a slight increased risk’ which is good to hear. I guessed it was impossible to say as its a new virus with no track record also mentions ‘this is the same for other viruses , such as the flu’ suggesting that the knowledge acquired on regular flu can help our understanding of the Coronavirus. I spoke to PUK on the phone but this question of degree wasn’t yet known then.
So am I getting the right end of the stick … are PWPs just slightly more likely to have severe complications if they catch the virus or is the degree of the increased risk unknown ?
Yes, you’re right I am a member of the Parkinson’s UK team and your understanding of the coronavirus and the potential risks for people with Parkinson’s is correct. People with the condition are more likely to have an increased risk of severe illness if they contract the virus so you’re definitely taking the right approach with staying in and essentially self isolating.
I see you’ve already mentioned that you’ve spoken to our helpline which is great, please know that we are continuously updating our website with information inline government and NHS updates. You can keep up to speed with this info here: https://www.parkinsons.org.uk/news/understanding-coronavirus-and-parkinsons
I fully understand people’s concerns, however the Government has announced that schools will close on Friday of this week, which should help with concerns, but there is another very important side to schools closing.
It is of course that many NHS and care staff have young children in school,and if they cannot find childminders then they will have￼ to stay at home to look after their children, thereby creating a staffing crisis maybe , in the NHS and for disabled at home, just at the time when more staff are required!
It is easy to criticise politicians , which I do regularly, but there is a bigger picture, which sometimes we don’t or won’t see, and school closures may be extremely dangerous for older people with disabilities/ illness etc. Putting our lives at risk?
The Michael J Fox Foundation had a webinar yesterday on Parkinsons and coronavirus. It is still available to listen to on their site. The Foundation’s advice on coronavirus is below. As someone with moderate PD and no lung or heart problems, I find it reassuring, while at the same time it makes sense to take precautions and follow the government advice on social distancing.
Having Parkinson’s, by itself, may not put you at an increased risk of getting COVID-19 or, if you do get it, having a more significant illness. For example: If you are 50 years old, newly diagnosed and otherwise healthy, it’s hard to say more than “you should take standard precautions.” But if you are older and have advancing Parkinson’s that significantly affects your movement, or if you have other conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease, you may need to take more precautions, such as not traveling or avoiding routine doctor visits. Because Parkinson’s is so individualized, it’s hard to make a blanket statement. If you aren’t sure which category you fall into, talk with your doctor. But here’s my takeaway: Be careful and don’t take risks you don’t have to take. ``