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10th February 2020


The government has today (10 February 2020) issued new regulations designed to contain the spread of this virus, which has been much in the news recently. They emphasise that these are simply precautionary measures and that the risk to the general population is extremely low. At the time of writing there are only four confirmed cases in the UK.

If you would like the latest information about the virus you can find it on the Government’s website.

However, this is an opportune moment to remind everyone about the sensible precautions that should be taken to minimise risk.

This time of year is, in any case, a peak time for annual influenza and the precautions are the same in both cases.

Why it is important

CLL and SLL patients are at increased risk of infection because we have an immune system that is not working properly. This means that infections can be more serious than for people whose immune response is normal.

What you should do

  • Avoid, as far as possible, crowded places where infections are likely to be passed on.
  • Wash hands regularly and thoroughly. Pay particular attention to the back of hands, between fingers and the base of the thumb.
  • A virus can exist for a long time on things like doorknobs and handrails, so consider wearing gloves when you go out.
  • If you feel unwell, contact your GP immediately. The trigger point is if your temperature reaches 38 degrees. This could signal an infection which may, or may not, be influenza but should be checked in any case. Your GP and receptionist should be made aware that you have leukaemia and are immune compromised, so that your symptoms can be investigated immediately.

Finally, the risk of coronavirus in the UK currently is very, very small so you should not be concerned unduly.

If you would like to learn more about the immune system, there is a very comprehensive description on our HealthUnlocked forum which you can find here.