CIPO COVID19 Update

by Whitney

CIPO has received many inquiries related to COVID-19 (the current coronavirus), most of which are related to patient specific travel or medical care. For specific medical inquiries, please contact your healthcare provider, or treating specialist.

COVID-19 in Canada

Cases of COVID-19 in provinces and across Canada is changing by the hour. Please continue to check your regional public health for area specific information.

Transmission

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), COVID-19 is spread through the following ways:

Respiratory droplets that are spread when you cough or sneeze
Close personal contact with an infected person (such as shaking hands, or touching)
Touching something with the virus on it and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands

Protection

Since there is currently no vaccine, anti-virals or antibiotics to protect against COVID-19, it is important for immunodeficiency patients to protect themselves against the virus. The current recommended measures are:

  • Frequent and effecient hand washing of at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water
  • Avoid touching your face (eyes, mouth, nose) with unwashed hands
  • Staying at home
  • Staying at least 2 metre (6 feet) from others
  • Masks will not offer any protection against COVID-19, and should only be worn when you are ill to protect people from your germs.

Travel

The Public Health Agency of Canada has recommended that Canadians avoid all unecessary travel. If you are planning to travel, we recommend reading the current Government of Canada and Public Health Agency warnings and travel advisories

CIPO recommends limiting non-essential travel when possible. If you must travel, we recommend the following:

  • Avoid public transit, when possible
  • Use your own vehicle, if possible

Testing

If you feel ill, or think you may have the virus:

  • Do NOT go to the hopsital or walk-in clinic (unless instructed to by your doctor OR you cannot manage your symptoms at home)
  • Self-isolate and call your doctor
  • Use inhalers (if prescribed) and medications to managed symptoms

If someone in your house is ill:

  • Isolate yourself
  • Use separate washrooms (if possible)
  • Use separate towels

CIPO is hearing concern from patients regarding testing for the virus and lack of fever response in some PI disease states. Please know that COVID-19 testing in Canada is not under the same conditions as testing in the US (where testing has been limited).

IG Therapy

CIPO has had many inquiries from concerned patients regarding entering the hospital, for either:

  • Picking up SCIG product at the blood bank, or
  • Getting IVIG treatment

We understand the fear and anxiety and are working with Canadian Blood Services and local health authorities to try and reduce hospital exposure for patients and families.

In the meantime, we do not know how long this pandemic will last, and it is important to continue your IG treatment.

Patients using IVIG

CIPO has had many inquiries from concerned patients regarding IVIG in hospital. Please note that IVIG treatments will continue as they are deemed an essential medicine.

If you do not wish to enter a hospital for your IVIG and would like to consider moving to SCIG (in-home therapy) during the course of this pandemic, please contact your prescribing physician.

Patients using SCIG

All patients should be able to designate an alternate person to pick up their product.
If you have not already put this into place, contact your SCIG nurse or blood bank
Pick up protocols may change depending on your jurisdiction. We recommend filling your order 1-month in advance.

Plasma Products

The PPTA has issued a statement that there is no risk of transmission of COVID-19 into plasma products.

Updates

For more information, please see the following:

CIPO will continue to update on this virus as necessary.


About the Author


Whitney