Extremely vulnerable people are being sent letters urging them to stay at home for 12 weeks and minimise all physical interactions.
'Shielding' is one of the latest practices to be advised by Public Health. It is designed to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between themselves and others.
The guidance is for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from the corona virus because of an underlying health condition.
Letters are being sent out from Primary Care strongly advising these people to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day you receive your letter.
This information is also available online by clicking here, and includes guidance for informal carers and the family and friends of those deemed to be especially vulnerable should they contract covid-19.
Who is part of the ‘extremely vulnerable’ category?
People falling into this extremely vulnerable group include:
1. Solid organ transplant recipients
2. People with specific cancers, including those undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer, people with leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma who are at any stage of treatment, people having immunotherapy and those having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors.
3. People with severe respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
5. People on immuno suppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
6. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
Pictured: Pregnant women are just one of the vulnerable groups.
The Public Health document states: "Shielding is for your personal protection, it is your choice to decide whether to follow the measures we advise. Individuals who have been given a prognosis of less than 6 months to live, and some others in special circumstances, could decide not to undertake shielding. This will be a deeply personal decision. We advise calling your GP or specialist to discuss this."
If you think you fall into one of the categories of extremely vulnerable people listed above and have not received a letter or been contacted by your GP, you should discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician.
Pictured top: Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink.
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