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Cystic fibrosis and COVID-19

Last updated: 10 September 2020 at 4.50pm

If you have cystic fibrosis and you get COVID-19 (coronavirus), there’s a chance that you may get a severe infection. For most people the risk of a severe infection is probably the same as it would be for other viruses, such as the flu. But for some people it is higher.

Clinically stable or unstable cystic fibrosis

If you have cystic fibrosis and it is clinically unstable or severe, you are at very high risk from COVID-19. You should follow the advice on cocooning. People with severe cystic fibrosis include people waiting for a transplant. Your cystic fibrosis team can tell you if your disease is clinically stable or unstable.

If you have cystic fibrosis and it is clinically stable, you are in the high risk group from COVID-19. You do not need to cocoon. But you should take extra care to follow the advice on how to protect yourself from COVID-19.

This means:

If you get COVID-19

Keep taking all your medications and treatments. This includes nutritional treatments. Not taking your treatments will increase your risk of a severe infection.

Keep your prescriptions up to date.

Do your airway clearance and have nebulizer treatments regularly, as advised by your doctor. Do these in a well-ventilated room, away from other people, if possible.

Exercise in your home or garden, if possible. Keep away from other people when you exercise. Your cystic fibrosis team may be able to change your exercise programme.

If you become unwell for any reason

Phone or email your local cystic fibrosis centre to arrange to be seen. Do not go to the centre unless you have an appointment.

In the rare situation you become very sick, go to your nearest hospital

If you have a hospital appointment

  • Arrive at the exact time - not early or late. This is to minimize the risk of meeting other people in the hospital.
  • Wear a face mask while you are in the hospital.
  • Follow the advice and instructions from your cystic fibrosis team.

Cystic fibrosis centres

Cystic fibrosis centres are open and seeing patients by appointment.

Some centres are offering appointments and other services by phone or video link. This includes psychological or social work support. Phone your local centre if you need them.

If you become unwell you will still be checked as normal. If you need to be admitted to hospital, you will be.

Looking after your mental health

It is difficult living with cystic fibrosis during the current pandemic.

Read advice about minding your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related topics

People at higher risk from COVID-19

How to cocoon

How to get tested

Dealing with fake health information

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