Chronicles From the Front
Nuccia Gatta, President of Alfa-1-At Onlus Italia, has authored the following communication on the current situation in Italy for Alpha-1 patients following the COVID-19 outbreak that has resulted in a national quarantine and lockdown.
You’re probably asking yourselves how the alpha community in Italy lives these strange days of coronavirus emergency, in one of the most affected countries and so far the only one that quarantined the whole of it.
It is difficult to say how our patients are; we have no news of alpha patients who have contracted COVID-19 but that does not exclude it.
It is a surreal situation of understandable concern for everyone, especially for patients with weak lungs as ourselves. For days, worried phone calls with requests for more details and guidelines behaviour given our condition of greater pulmonary fragility. Mothers worried about their young children, patients who are wondering whether or not to go to the hospital for augmentation therapy, others who are cannot be accompanied, some in voluntary quarantine and others in precautionary quarantine for respiratory symptoms even if not by COVID-19. This and much more.
We all know how much more important augmentation therapy is in situations of exacerbations and especially in these cases domiciliation and self-administration would be the ideal solutions! More and more often people are opting for double infusion in order to dilute hospital accesses.
The indications, also supported by our specialists, are exactly those of the Ministry of Health, reported below, which we transmit to the entire international alpha community with the recommendation to follow them immediately even if there are still no outbreaks in your area. We would like to thank you if you start to do this right away and we thank you for your solidarity and closeness. We want to reassure you that we are continuously and perfectly looked after by our specialists and that they are always available as well as the scientific committee of the association and the Ida Group (Alpha leaders).
Thanks so much to all our doctors and nurses on the front line.
President of Alfa1AT, Italian Patients’ Association
DECALOGUE FROM MINISTRY OF HEALTH
- Often wash your hands
- Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze or cough.
- Do not take antiviral drugs or antibiotics, unless prescribed by a doctor
- Clean surfaces with chlorine or alcohol-based disinfectants
- Use the mask only if you suspect that you are sick or if you are caring for sick people
- MADE IN CHINA products and packages received from China are not dangerous
- Pets do not spread the new coronavirus
- If in doubt, DO NOT go to the ER: call your GP and if you think you are infected call 112