COVID-19: Patients and Caregivers

About COVID-19 COVID-19 Information for SCD Community 1. A brief overview about Corona virus (COVID-19) Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak started in late 2019 and developed into global pandemic by March 2020. In some countries, this virus is spreading very quickly with some people dying from it. Even though this disease is new and information about its spread and possible complications in SCD is unknown, it is crucial to avoid catching this infection or spreading it to those around you. SCD is considered an immuno-compromised condition, which makes those living with sickle cell disease more susceptible to infections. We hope this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic comes to an end soon but at present, there is no timeline for Covid-19, therefore it is advisable to take precautions to stay healthy. 2. What are the symptoms of Corona virus (COVID-19)? People who get infected with this virus may have no symptoms at all or have very mild and barely noticeable flu like symptoms. However, some may have high fever and respiratory symptoms as cough, difficulty in breathing and sore throat. In severe cases, respiratory symptoms can worsen over a short period of time and lead to fulminant lung disease necessitating admission to the intensive care and ventilatory support. Generally, children have milder disease than adults but they can transmit the virus to older people around them.People who are more likely to have severe COVID-19 disease are the elderly and those with chronic diseases. These include individuals living with SCD and other blood disorders, chronic lung disease, kidney failure on dialysis, diabetes, hypertension, cancer and those receiving drugs that decrease their immunity or who have undergone a bone marrow or solid organ transplant. In SCD, additional symptoms and signs not related to the respiratory system as severe pain and increasing pallor may be seen with Coronavirus infections. It is known that viral infections such as the flu can trigger vaso-occlusive crises (pain, acute chest syndrome) and lead to a sudden drop in hemoglobin in persons affected with SCD. While there is currently no accurate scientific data to show that patients with SCD are more likely to have severe COVID-19 disease, various studies have shown...

What is sickle cell disease

What is sickle cell disease Sickle cell disease (SCD) also known as sickle cell anemia, is the most common genetic disease in the world.  It is caused by an abnormal form of hemoglobin and is passed on to a child from both the mother and the father of the child. SCD affects hemoglobin which is a protein that carries oxygen in red blood cells to all tissues of the body. Sickled red cells stick to each other and to blood vessel walls. This can block the flow of blood to different parts of the body and over time, some tissues may become damaged. In SCD patients, the red blood cell loses its normal shape and become stiff and crescent-shaped. Sickled cells are fragile and do not survive as long as normal red blood cells making individuals with SCD anemic. This means they may look pale and feel weak. There are different types of sickle cell disease depending on which genes have been passed from the parents to the child. The most common types of SCD are Hemoglobin SS Hemoglobin S-ß thalassemia Hemoglobin SC Out of the 300,000+ babies born globally with severe forms of sickle cell disease annually, sub-Saharan Africa (especially Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo) and India bear half of the global burden of SCD. From its origin in sub-Sahara Africa, Arabian Penisula and Indian sub-continent, population migration has also increased SCD prevalence in areas not previously associated with the disease such as the USA, Western and Northern Europe. SCD is a global health issue… In high resource countries with less than10% of global SCD burden, babies born with SCD can now be expected to survive into adulthood; while low and medium resource countries such as in the sub-Saharan Africa have high incidence of disease and limited resources to support the affected. Sadly, this has led to inadequate care and treatment of the affected in these  countries resulting in many newborns dying before the age of five years old while others lived shortened lives marked by significant morbidity. In 2010, the WHO released national health care management goals and set targets to be achieved by the countries in sub-Saharan Africa for the control and...