With the relaxation of restrictions across the UK, and more contagious variants of Coronavirus in circulation, there is an inevitable risk that you may develop symptoms of, and test positive for Coronavirus at some point. It it perfectly understandable that you may feel anxious, worried or scared about this if you have aplastic anaemia or PNH, but we've shared some ideas that you can follow in the event that you become unwell.

1. Don't panic!

It is completely understandable that you might feel scared if you become unwell with COVID-19. However, our recent research project, undertaken by a team of researchers in Leeds showed that the vast majority of people with aplastic anaemia and PNH who received at least two doses of the Coronavirus vaccine displayed adequate levels of protection from the vaccine, which was equivalent to those shown in healthy volunteers who also took part in the trial. Whilst the vaccine cannot prevent you from catching Coronavirus, it can have a significantly reduce the likelihood of you becoming seriously unwell. You can find more information about the vaccine research project by clicking here.

Many members of our community have also reported that they tested positive for COVID-19 in recent months, and for the vast majority, symptoms have been relatively mild, and very few have required treatment in hospital. 

2. Take a PCR test as soon as possible

Whilst you may have received a positive result from a lateral flow test, it is important that you also take a PCR test as soon as possible. People who have severely weakened immune systems may be eligible to receive new drugs and treatments to treat Coronavirus, and it is currently necessary to have a positive PCR test result to access these. If you do receive a positive PCR test result, you should be contacted by the NHS within 24 hours of receiving your result, to be assessed to see if you are suitable to receive further treatment. If you haven't been contacted by the NHS within 24 hours of your result, you can also contact NHS 111, or your GP who can make an urgent referral on your behalf.

3. Contact your medical team for advice

For most people with aplastic anaemia or PNH, it is likely that you will be able to isolate and recover from Coronavirus at home. However, it is important that you let your medical team know that you are unwell as soon as possible, as they may want to discuss further treatment options with you or admit you to hospital. They will also be there to reassure you and answer any questions that you may have - so be afraid to contact them if you are concerned.

4. Look after yourself!

Above all, it is important that you take care of your physical and mental wellbeing while suffering from Coronavirus. Make sure that you get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Make sure that you seek advice from your GP or medical team if you start to feel worse, or have any concerns.

Make sure that you are able to access food and drink, and have an adequate supply of medication. Ask friends or relatives to collect groceries or medication on your behalf, or arrange for them to be delivered. If you are isolated and don't have anyone who can help with this, you can also contact the NHS Volunteer Responders who can assist with food and medication deliveries where needed. You can find more information about this service by clicking here.

As always, we strongly recommend that you contact your own medical team for advice if you become unwell or are feeling concerned. However, if you have a more general query, or would even just like to chat with us while you are isolating, please feel free to contact our Support Team by phone on +44 (0)300 102 3202, or by email at [email protected]