Although there are no longer any COVID restrictions in the UK, the virus is still circulating, and it is almost inevitable that you may come into contact with someone displaying symptoms of the virus, or develop symptoms yourself. 

The variants currently in circulation tend to produce far less severe symptoms than those that were in circulation when the pandemic began, and in the majority of cases, symptoms are mild and people recover well. However, due to the impact of aplastic anaemia on your immune system, there is a risk that symptoms could be more severe and have a greater impact on you. As a result, it is important that you act quickly, should you suspect that you have COVID.

Below, you can find some simple guidance to follow, in the event that you feel unwell, or test positive for COVID.

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 times, and for the vast majority, symptoms have been relatively mild, and very few have required treatment in hospital. 

2. Take a lateral flow 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 these need to be given as soon as possible after you first developed symptoms of Coronavirus.

The way in which you can access free lateral flow tests has now changed. Rather than ordering test by phone or online, you can now visit a local pharmacy, with evidence of your condition, such as a GP letter or a list of your medications and pick up tests in person.

You can also purchase tests yourself either online or at a local pharmacy, and these will also be accepted in the event that you need to access treatment.

If your lateral flow test is positive, you should call your medical team as soon as possible, as they will be able to refer you for treatment if they feel that it is necessary. While it is probably best that you contact your haematology team, as they will best understand your situation and circumstances, you can also contact your GP or NHS 111.

You can find out more information about medicines used to treat Coronavirus by clicking here

3. Contact your medical team for advice

For most people with aplastic anaemia or PNH, it is likely that you will be able to 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.

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. You can find details of how to contact us by clicking here.