In its continued effort to help stem the tide of increasing COVID-19 infections, the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) has provided preventive tips and answers to frequently asked questions by the PF community with the most up-to-date information from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.*
Protecting Yourself and Others
Public health officials urge all citizens, particularly people at high risk such as those with severe chronic illnesses like pulmonary fibrosis and the people close to them, to do the following:
- Wash your hands often, especially before eating, after going to the bathroom, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Wash thoroughly with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water aren’t handy, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
- If you are sick, or feel sick, stay home.
- Even if you don’t feel sick, stay home as much as possible.
- If you have to go out, avoid crowds and distance yourself from other people by at least six feet.
- Cover your face with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Wear a face mask if you show symptoms of COVID-19.
- Stock up on your medications and other necessary supplies to avoid having to go out.
- Limit non-essential travel and social visits to places where infection is high and to people who are at high risk.
Coronavirus / PF FAQs
Is it safe to attend routine clinic visits?
A: Discuss any risks or concerns you have with your healthcare provider. Consider rescheduling routine appointments.
Should I continue attending my pulmonary rehabilitation sessions?
A: Consult your physician and rehab team about potentially developing a home-based program to avoid the risks of group sessions.
Can I catch COVID-19 from a pulmonary function test (PFT) or spirometry machine?
A: The risk of infection from PFT devices is very low as long as the equipment has been appropriately cleaned/disinfected. If you are experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, and/or fever, call your healthcare provider before attending an appointment or testing.The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely, and will provide updates as it evolves. For more details and resources, visit the PFF’s COVID-19 FAQs webpage.
*Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. (2020, March 16). COVID-19 FAQs [Webpage].