Coronavirus Covid-19 and people with conditions affecting the gastro-intestinal system

10th March 2020

People across the UK should adhere to guidance published by the NHS to avoid catching or spreading Coronavirus.

Do:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don’t:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Some patients may be taking immunosuppressive medications for digestive conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, auto-immune liver diseases or liver transplant. Specific research evidence relating to how or whether these medications might affect Covid19 infection is lacking. However, the expectation is that they will probably not affect the risk of catching the virus, but these medications may in some cases increase the risk of complications if infected.

If you are taking such medications and think you may be infected you should seek medical advice by telephone, preferably with your local specialist team. The risks of stopping or altering medication will vary considerably from patient to patient and you should not change your therapy without consulting a doctor. For “expert-based opinion”, you might wish to look at the IOIBD website, which is completely independent of Guts UK.

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