Updated: Mar 15, 2020
We wanted to update you with two things.
Firstly, Dr David Tuller will be presenting his talk via video link from the US – he was due to fly in, but sadly had to make the decision that flying was not a sensible option due to the risks associated with coronavirus and the potential of not being able to return to the US if quarantine restrictions were imposed.
Do not attend in person, but join us online as David will be, or watch as we also livestream to our Facebook page.
Full details for joining in from your home, with optional video and/or audio so that you can take part in the Q&A, are below:
Topic: Medically Unexplained Symptoms: Shaky Evidence, Shaky Practice With Dr David Tuller
Time: Monday 16th March 2020. 02:30pm London GMT. (7:30am PDT. 10:30am ET)
Join Zoom Meeting:
Dial in using any phone (standard charges will apply):
+44 203 481 5240 UK (London)
You will then be asked to dial in the Meeting ID: 600 588 922
For other countries, find your local number here: https://zoom.us/u/amfBTMmh5
Remember that you can watch the livestream on our facebook page too, and we will upload a recording of the talk to YouTube afterwards as well.
We are carefully monitoring the situation around coronavirus and if it gets significantly worse in the days before the event we may need to move the entire event online, so please check back here or on our website before setting off.
Edit: Please do not come in person. Join us online or by phone. Read full update here:
Covid-19 is becoming a major concern and we do not know the effect it will have on people with ME or fibromyalgia; we do however know that accessing healthcare is often very challenging for those with these illnesses, therefore we must do everything to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in our communities and beyond. The situation has escalated significantly over the weekend and many institutions are cancelling or postponing events, we feel it is only fair and safe to move this event online. Thank you for understanding and we look forward to you joining the talk online or via your phone. If you have any questions please feel free to get in touch on email@example.com
Secondly, we wanted to share with you the advice about coronavirus published by the ME Association on their website, updated weekly. You can find more detail here: https://www.meassociation.org.uk/2020/03/me-association-guidance-coronavirus-covid-19-update-09-march-2020/
· Viral infections are a very common factor in causing symptom exacerbation and relapse of ME/CFS – sometimes severe and prolonged. So, everyone with ME/CFS should be taking simple self-help measures that reduce the risk of both spreading and catching infections from other people. These are listed further down.
· At the moment, the risk of someone with ME/CFS coming into contact with someone who has coronavirus is still extremely low.
· As ME/CFS involves immune system activation, rather than immune system deficiency, there is a theoretical reason to indicate that having ME/CFS may not place someone at increased risk of developing a severe infection. But how people with ME/CFS will react to the actual virus remains uncertain, so it is best to err on the side of caution.
· For people with ME/CFS who are not housebound, ways of reducing your social mobility now need to be considered.
· Most of those who develop a more serious or fatal infection are elderly (i.e. over the age of 70) and are less able to mount a good immune defence or have a long-term health condition – especially one that causes immune system depression.
· Children and young people, whose immune systems are much better at mounting a good defence against new infections, are generally coping well and not developing serious complications.
· If you do catch this infection, as with any infection, the after-effects are likely to be more serious. This is why taking steps to avoid catching coronavirus, or any other flu-like virus at this time of year, are very important.
Prevention of spread: respiratory and hand hygiene
At the moment the view from the virologists is that every person who contracts coronavirus is then passing it on to another four or five people – so it’s a fairly infectious/contagious virus.
As with flu viruses at this time of year, there are a number of simple, practical precautions that will significantly reduce the chance of picking up this infection, and these should be adopted by everyone.
Infection-containing droplets from coughs and sneezes from an infected person stay in the air for a short time and then land on surfaces where they can remain infective for several hours, possibly even longer, and in this case possibly up to 72 hours.
The first step involves avoiding (where possible) crowded places – such as public transport – where people are coughing and sneezing. The general rule of thumb is to aim to keep 3 metres or more away from other people – if you can!
The second involves washing your hands when you have been in contact with a surface that lots of other people have been touching. In particular are things like public toilets, cash machines, keyboards, handrails, door handles, trays that are used for security checks in buildings and airports, and also shaking hands!
Thorough hand-washing with soap and warm water for 30 seconds after contact with potentially infected surfaces is the best thing to do – if facilities are available. Alcohol-containing antiseptic/sterilising wipes are very useful if you are out and about. Alcohol dissolves the lipid/fatty coat around the virus and helps to inactivate it. The alcohol content of these wipes content should be 62% or more.
There has been a big demand for antiseptic wipes and gels, and they are becoming difficult to find. The best time to shop appears to be first thing in the morning. Please note that antibacterial wipes and gels are not going to be effective.
Do not touch your face, mouth or eyes if your hands are not clean!
Cheap face masks may help to stop spreading infections, but are of no real value in stopping you catching one as the viral particles are minute and can only be kept out of the mouth, nose and eyes (which are another route for infection) by the sort of masks used by health workers. More expensive ones, if they have Dept of Health approval, will have some effect.
People who are housebound should ask visitors with any sort of infective symptoms to stay away. Healthy visitors should be asked to thoroughly wash their hands and possibly wear disposable gloves – especially if the visit involves close personal contact for nursing or social care purposes.
Finally, if you have any sort of infection keep away from other people and sneeze into a tissue or handkerchief.
Government information to the public, updated regularly, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
If people are feeling ill with these symptoms, please use our Facebook groups to keep in touch with everyone once a day so that we can know how you are doing. If you don’t use Facebook please make sure you are in contact with one person every day so you are not going through this alone.
Take care, Sheffield ME and Fibromyalgia Group x
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