I have been contacted by several coeliac patients asking for advice with regards to their risk of contracting Covid 19 (Corona virus) due to their underlying condition.
To the best of my knowledge coeliac disease does not carry any additional risks to;-
- Picking up corona virus, or
- Suffering from it, if you were unfortunate enough to contract it.
This is also the case for those patients with coeliac disease and hyposplenism.
I have recently heard of some patients receiving letters stating;-
“NHS Coronavirus Service: Your condition means you are at high risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus. Please remain at home for 12 weeks unless a healthcare professional tells you to leave. You will get a letter from the NHS to confirm this.” This is called shielding.
It is possible these people may have received these letters for other medical reasons, rather than this being specifically due to their coeliac disease. 1 in 100 people in UK are believed to have coeliac disease so some may have received these letters if they have other associated immunodeficiencies or are taking immunomodulator therapy for other conditions
Presently I would therefore continue to advise you on (stringent) social distancing. The latest government advice is that we should all stay at home and only go outside when it is essential. This advice applies to everyone, whether or not you have coeliac disease.
Until things change I would recommend following the Coeliac UK guidance and advice provided by Government contained in the link below.
In essence this states; – ” The government has also provided advice on shielding for people defined as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. People with coeliac disease (including those who have problems with their spleen) who have no other health conditions do not fall into this category. If you fall into this category you should receive a letter by Sunday 29 March 2020. The Government website has more information on shielding.”
Dr. Matt W. Johnson. BSc MB BS FRCP MD