Our knowledge about the risks of COVID-19 in people with sickle cell disease is still very limited, but there is enough evidence to say that if you have sickle cell disease, you are at risk. So, if you have sickle cell disease:
1) Strictly follow the recommendations made by our government and the Ministry of Health.
2) Strictly comply with the isolation measures.
3) As much as possible, avoid contact with people who have travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days.
4) Ask a family member or friend who is not suffering from the disease to do your grocery or shopping for you.
5) Completely avoid contact with people with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat or difficulty breathing).
6) If you should develop a fever (oral temperature 38°C and over, or rectal temperature of 38.5°C and over): remember that fever is a sign of infection. Remember that you are also at risk of bacterial infection with bacteria such as pneumococcus, meningococcus, haemophilus influenzae, even if you have been vaccinated. If you develop a fever, notify your sickle cell anemia medical team and go to the emergency room immediately for assessment. You may need to stay in the hospital if you become infected, so plan to take some personal belongings with you.
7) Continue to take medications prescribed by your doctor and make sure you have enough at home.
8) Children aged 5 years and under should continue their vaccinations as it is recommended by the Quebec Immunization Program.
Dr Yves Pastore, Hôpital Sainte-Justine
Dr Nancy Robitaille, Hôpital Sante-Justine