Coronavirus and Scoliosis

24 March 2020

Does my scoliosis put me at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus?

Ashley Cole, Consultant Spinal Surgeon at Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust breaks down what coronavirus means for those with scoliosis. We recommend you follow the advice given to you by your healthcare team. If you are in doubt about what to do, please err on the side of caution.

"Young, fit and well people are more likely to get a mild illness from cornoavirus, older people more severe. If you get a severe infection then additional medical problems will only make matters worse. The main organ affected is the lungs and scoliosis if severe can reduce lung function but there are still the two variables of how severe your lung problem is and how severe the infection is acting together.

Fit and healthy teenagers with scoliosis are still at low risk as the disease does not seem to be producing severe symptoms in this age group.

Patients with other co-morbidities and older patients who feel their lung function is not as good as it should be e.g. short of breath on mild exercise are at risk. The risk is not around catching coronavirus but just around the severity of the disease if they catch it. The advice is that they should be strictly self-isolating. Indeed, all of us, except for key workers, should be isolating at this time," said Ashley Cole.

People identified as belonging to one or more of the at-risk groups outlined by the UK government will be contacted by their GP practice, specialist or both strongly advising them to stay at home for a period of at least 12 weeks. If you're at high risk, you will be contacted by the NHS by Sunday 29 March 2020.

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