While the current evidence indicates that children are not as likely to be affected with COVID-19 or to experience severe cases, those with underlying health conditions including cystic fibrosis a chronic lung disease, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness from the virus.
As the coronavirus spreads around the world, Australian Survivor alumni Luke Toki, whose baby daughter Madeline was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis last year, took to Instagram to share information from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (The CF Foundation).
"Anyone with a family member with CF and wants more info from the government. Have a look at the link below," the 33-year-old wrote. "Be safe."
According to The CF Foundation, "similar to recommendations for avoiding everyday germs, the CDC - which remains the best source of information regarding COVID-19 - recommends the following to avoid exposure to COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. (The CF Foundation recommends that if you can't cough or sneeze into a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm. Wash or sanitize your hands after disposing the tissue.)
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
In addition, they note, "Recognising that CF is a complex disease and affects each person living with it differently, we recommend you speak with your care team directly with specific questions about your personal health and risk factors, and continue to check the CDC website for complete guidelines and the most up-to-date information."
When it comes to school, The CF Foundation continues: "These are unique times and require some rethinking of strategies. The CDC recommends taking extra precautions to put distance between yourself and other people, including staying home as much as possible and avoiding crowds, especially in poorly ventilated areas. Talk with your care team and school administration to explore distance learning or remote options for schoolchildren."
To protect the health and well-being of you or your child with CF, we encourage families with schoolchildren to explore distance learning, or other remote options. In addition, adults living with CF are encouraged to work remotely whenever possible.— Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (@CF_Foundation) March 13, 2020
Other parents around the world have also shared their experiences, urging others to be kind, and aware that while "only the vulnerable" are at risk, "your only is my everything".
🧵1/would like to just share an experience I had. I live in Virginia. My WHOLE family has already been isolated at home a week tomorrow.— Tasha Nelson (@TashaNelson39) March 13, 2020
My 8 year old son has Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic fatal lung disease. His specialist isolated us for his safety last Friday as #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/jp7PPlQtW3
For those still struggling to grasp it. Try to let this 👆🏻sink in.. Covid-19 is a risk for my child. The photo above is just the result of a common cold virus. You should count your blessing if you are healthy and don’t have anyone to worry about but yourself, but please be considerate and compassionate of those of us that do. This #covid_19 #beconsiderate #becompassionate #educateyourself #comprimisedhealth #lung #cysticfibrosis
For up to date information visit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation