What Is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a potentially deadly condition caused by infection from a novel (new) coronavirus, one that had not been identified in humans before late 2019.
It is not the same as other coronaviruses that cause mild illness, such as the common cold. “Coronavirus” describes the general shape of the virus and applies to a large subset of the microbes.
The name COVID-19 follows the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for naming new human infectious diseases. ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ ‘D’ for disease, and ‘19’ for 2019, the year in which the disease was first identified. The RNA virus that causes COVID-19 is called “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-CoV.” You may also see “2019-nCoV.”
All refer to the same pandemic coronavirus.
What Actions Should People with Chronic Kidney Disease Take During COVID-19?
People of any age with chronic kidney disease at any stage are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Specific actions people with chronic kidney disease can take during COVID-19 include:
- Continue taking medicines as directed by your doctor
- Maintain your diet plan as directed by your doctor
- Have shelf-stable foods on-hand to help you stick to your kidney diet
- Ensure you have at least a 30-day supply of medications on hand
- Keep in frequent contact with your healthcare team
- Alert them if you have any new signs or symptoms of illness
- Contact them if you are unable to get the medicines or foods you need
- If you don’t have a healthcare provider, contact your nearest community health center or health department
If you are on dialysis:
- Contact your dialysis clinic and your healthcare provider if you feel sick or have concerns
- Do NOT miss your treatments
- Make a plan to have enough food available so you can follow the KCER 3-Day Emergency Diet Plan for dialysis patients if you are unable to maintain your normal treatment schedule
For patients with chronic conditions such as chronic kidney disease, other actions you can take to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 include:
- Limit interactions with others as much as possible
- If you start feeling sick and think you may have COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider within 24 hours
- If you plan to go out into a public setting:
- Wear a mask when around others not in your household
- Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds at the start and end of a visit, or any time you think your hands may have been contaminated
- Keep a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol on hand at all times
- Avoid others not wearing a mask
- Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and shared items between uses
- Use disposable hand towels
- Socially distance during any visits
- Stay outdoors when possible
- If indoors make sure the room is well-ventilated (keep windows or doors opened) or large enough for social distancing
- Don’t shake hands or hug
- If you someone you planned to visit has been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or has symptoms of COVID-19, delay or cancel the visit
- If you have already had contact, stay home and self-monitor for symptoms
- Avoid high-risk gatherings where COVID-19 can spread
- Lowest risk: virtual events
- Increased risk: Small outdoor in-person gatherings where people stay at least six feet apart, wear masks, do not share objects, and are all from the same local area
- Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings where people are still spaced at least six feet apart and attendees are from outside the local area
- Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where people are unable to remain spaced at least six feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area
- Stay up-to-date on vaccines such as influenza and pneumococcal disease and other preventive care
- Stay physically active and eat healthfully
- Seek medical care right away if you have a medical emergency
- Continue to follow your treatment plan for your condition