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Posted on 04/03/2020 | Updated: 10/04/2020
We have been asked whether people who have been affected by Guillain-Barré syndrome, CIDP or one of the associated inflammatory neuropathies are more at risk from coronavirus COVID-19. The following information is a general guideline only. If you have other health conditions to take into consideration, please seek medical guidance.
GBS / acute variants
The advice for people who have had GBS is the same as for anyone else. A common misconception is that people who have had GBS have a weakened or damaged immune system – this isn’t the case, and you are no more or less likely to contract the coronavirus or to be adversely affected by it.
CIDP / chronic variants
For those of you living with CIDP, or another of the chronic variants, you may have a suppressed immune system, depending on your treatment. Receiving immunoglobulin, either intravenously or subcutaneously, does not suppress your immune system, nor does plasmapheresis (also known as plasma exchange or plex). However, if you take steroids, or other immunosuppressant drugs, then you are considered to be more vulnerable. If you are unsure, ask your GP or neurologist
Instructions for everyone in the UK, effective from 24th March until further notice
Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.
- Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
- If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
- Wash your hands as soon as you get home
Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
Further information online
Check if you have coronavirus symptoms
Who is considered most at risk and how can we best help them?
Further advice is also available on the NHS website
Advice for people who need to stay at home to ‘self-isolate’
Advice from BBC News online
Public Health England map showing location and numbers of cases throughout the UK
World Health Organisation map showing location and numbers of cases globally
World Health Organisation FAQs