Coronavirus, COVID-19 and kidney patients: what you need to know

Coronavirus, COVID-19 and kidney patients: what you need to know

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Coronavirus is spread mainly from person to person. Older adults and people with kidney disease or other severe chronic medical situations seem to be at higher risk for more serious Coronavirus illness.  Because of this increased risk for kidney patients, it is especially essential for you to take actions to reduce your risk of exposure.  If a Coronavirus outbreak happens in your community, it could last for a long time.

Headlines and news reports are full of stories about the spread of the coronavirus that reasons COVID-19. While much is being learned about the virus every day, much is still not known and public health officials all around the world are sharing information and working together to limit the virus’ spread as much as possible.

While the chances of encountering someone infected with the coronavirus are extremely small, it’s good to remember that each of us can take steps to keep ourselves, and our communities, safer. Here’s what the CDC recommends:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who has respiratory symptoms such as a cough or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you feel sick or have cold-like or flu-like symptoms including a fever, cough, sore throat, headache or body aches.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw used tissues into the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect any objects and surfaces that you touch frequently.

Why do I need to prepare for the coronavirus outbreak?

If there is a virus outbreak in your area and you need to decrease your risk of getting sick, it’s essential that you have food in your home. This will help decrease your risk of infection by allowing you to avoid crowded spaces like grocery stores and drug stores. Here are some shelf stable food choices to help you follow your kidney diet. Shelf stable means foods that last a long time without spoiling, such as canned foods. It’s important to prepare now by stocking up 2-3 weeks’ worth of healthy, kidney friendly foods, fresh water, and medicines.

Special precautions for dialysis centers

If you are a dialysis patient, your underlying health condition(s) can put you at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.  The CDC and the American Society of Nephrology have provided guidance to dialysis centers to help them identify and handle suspected cases and to minimize exposure to other patients.

Here are some questions you can ask the staff at your center if you are concerned:

  • Can I wait in my car instead of in the waiting room?
  • What should I do if I have any flu-like symptoms?
  • Can you provide a mask for me to wear during my treatment?
  • What procedures do you have in place if you suspect a patient at the center may have COVID-19?
  • How will you inform patients of any emergency information?
  • Where will I receive dialysis if I get sick?



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