The Risk of Coronavirus Disease (COVID 19) for People with Parkinson’s Disease

COVID 19 and Parkinson's

COVID 19 stands for coronavirus disease 2019. This infectious disease is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). This virus has crown-like structures on its surface, which is why the virus is named coronavirus.

Other well-known viruses that are similar to coronavirus include SARS-CoV-1 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus) and MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus).

The most common symptoms of this disease include dry cough, sore throat, tiredness, fever, and shortness of breath. However, the recent clinical data suggests that 60% of COVID 19 cases don’t show any symptoms.

COVID 19 is a growing health concern throughout the world. This pandemic is still ongoing and as of today (April 15, 2020), there are over 20 million confirmed cases around the world and more than 128 thousand people have already died because of it. With every passing day, the number of infected people is increasing exponentially.

How about COVID 19 risk in Parkinson’s patients?

Considering that old people are more susceptible to COVID 19 and that Parkinson’s is the disease of old people, it is not surprising to say that Parkinson’s patients are at high risk of developing a severe form of COVID 19. Therefore, people with Parkinson’s should be more cautious and should take extra precautions to avoid getting this infectious disease.

Parkinson’s patients are advised to take the following preventive measures more seriously which are recommended for everyone these days.

Practice social distancing

This is the first line of defense against COVID 19 infection. This means Parkinson’s patients need to avoid all unnecessary social contacts; whether it’s inviting family members or meeting friends at restaurants for dinner.

It’s necessary to keep a distance of 2 meters from others when going outside for a walk.

Stay at home

Parkinson’s patients should avoid all non-essential outings and stay at home to reduce their risk of being exposed to coronavirus. They should avoid visiting hospitals these days. If necessary, they should contact their healthcare providers by phone and discuss their conditions and possible changes in medications.

Educate the caregiver

The caregiver could be a potential source of transmitting the virus to Parkinson’s patients. Therefore, it’s necessary to educate the caregiver to follow proper precautionary measures when dealing with patients. They should limit their outdoor visits to avoid their chances of getting COVID 19.

Follow basic personal hygiene habits

  • Parkinson’s patients should wash their hands more often with soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • They should avoid touching the nose, mouth, and face.
  • They should wear a face mask if they are around other people.
  • They should disinfect their hands and touch surfaces frequently with sanitizers or 70% ethanol.

For more information, please follow the CDC guideline.

Disclaimer: The information shared here should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions presented here are not intended to treat any health conditions. For your specific medical problem, consult with your health care provider.

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