What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large and diverse family of viruses which cause illnesses such as the common cold. Covid-19 is a new type of coronavirus disease.
Symptoms are similar to other illnesses like a cold or flu and include a cough, high temperature or fever and shortness of breath.
I’m a stroke survivor. What does coronavirus mean for me?
Stroke survivors have been telling us that they are worried about the coronavirus.
Most people who get coronavirus (COVID-19) will recover quickly, but some people can have more severe symptoms including pneumonia.
Many people who have had a stroke belong to an at-risk group, such as older people and those with health conditions like heart disease or respiratory disease, so we understand that it’s a real concern for many.
At this time, there is no evidence that the virus has any direct effect on the brain or nervous system and so does not increase the risk of stroke or cause the worsening of stroke directly.
How can I reduce my risk?
To immediately help reduce your risk, please follow the steps below.
- Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly:
- before eating or handling food
- after using the toilet
- after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
- after caring for sick people
- Keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes
- Avoid contact with people who may be an increased risk to you (e.g. children who have the flu)
- Avoid face-to-face contact with people who have flu-like symptoms
- Ask people to use a tissue and cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and to wash their hands afterwards.
We want to ensure that you are armed with the right tools so that you can manage your health at this difficult time. If you or your family member has had a stroke and have a carer, you have the right to ask questions about their hygiene process, ensuring that they have washed their hands and have access to a face mask and latex gloves if this makes you feel more comfortable.
If you’re concerned about asking these questions, feel free to say, “the Stroke Foundation has asked me to check…” as we want to help you receive the best possible care.
Look after your general health
Keep any medical appointments for your health conditions unless you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Getting your usual checks will make sure you are getting the treatment you need and keep taking any medication you are prescribed.
You can also help stay fit and well by eating a healthy, balanced diet and being as active as possible.
Where can I find more information?
We are continuing to follow advice from the Ministry of Health websites which are updated daily. You can follow these too:
A letter from our CEO
The Stroke Foundation’s CEO, Mark Vivian, has provided further updates about the services of the organisation during this challenging time. Please follow this link to find out more.
Making a referral
DHB professionals who would like to make referral to our Community Stroke Advisor service can easily do so this at this time. People will continue to have strokes and our critical services are continuing to operate. Simply fill out the referral form and send back to us, or fill in the online form here.