THE HSE have released a list of conditions which can cause a patient to be at a higher risk from Covid-19.
While coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill, regardless of age or underlying conditions, there are those who are at a higher risk and are extremely vulnerable to the disease.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) have released a list of the two levels of higher risk: high risk and very high risk, also called 'extremely vulnerable', and have laid out the advice anyone in either group should take to best protect themselves.
It is recommended that anyone in the very high risk group should continue to 'cocoon' themselves-- however a slight ease in restrictions now allows those who are cocooning to leave the house for exercise within 5km of their homes.
The HSE's list of conditions which makes a person extremely vulnerable (very high risk) is as follows:
- Over 70 years of age - even if you're fit and well
- Have had an organ transplant
- Are undergoing active chemotherapy for cancer
- Are having radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
- Have cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- Are having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- Are having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- Have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- Have severe respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
- Have a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
- Are taking medicine that makes you much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppression therapies)
- Have a serious heart condition and are pregnant
Those in the 'high risk' group should take extra care to protect themselves, including by staying at home, social distancing and washing hands regularly.
The list of conditions which would make a person be considered as high risk are as follows:
- Are over 60 years of age
- Have a learning disability
- Have a lung condition that's not severe (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis)
- Have heart disease (such as heart failure)
- Have high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Have diabetes
- Have chronic kidney disease
- Have liver disease (such as hepatitis)
- Have a medical condition that can affect your breathing
- Have cancer
- Have a weak immune system (immunosuppressed)
- Have cerebrovascular disease
- Have a condition affecting your brain or nerves (such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, or cerebral palsy)
- Have a problem with your spleen or have had your spleen removed
- Have a condition that means you have a high risk of getting infections (such as HIV, lupus or scleroderma)
- Are taking medicine that can affect your immune system (such as low doses of steroids)
- Are very obese (a BMI of 40 or above)
- Are residents of nursing homes and other long-stay settings
- Are in specialist disability care and are over 50 years of age or have an underlying health problem
Anyone wishing to read more about Covid-19, high-risk conditions or what they should do regarding cocooning should visit the HSE website.