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How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect people living with Parkinson’s?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, that spreads easily from person to person via airborne respiratory droplets. The pandemic has affected people globally, with older people, and those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, lung conditions and heart disease, being most at risk of developing serious complications. But what about Parkinson’s disease? How does coronavirus affect people living with this condition, and what precautions should they be taking?
Is there an increased risk for people with Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive condition of the nervous system that affects movements, with patients experiencing shaking, tremors, and muscle stiffness. Parkinson’s itself does not increase the risk of catching coronavirus. However, as people living with the condition are usually over the age of 60, they fall into the vulnerable category, and are more likely to develop complications.
While people with Parkinson’s do not have a compromised immune system, they are at risk from complications due to decreased muscle function. Problems with the muscles of the respiratory system can make it difficult to take deep breaths and get enough oxygen into the lungs.
People living with Parkinson’s are no more at risk of catching coronavirus than anyone else, but the illness can cause complications. Keep safe and follow guidelines on hygiene and distancing to protect yourself. If you feel unwell or are concerned about any other health issue, reach out to your doctor.
Rates are high, but the risk can be reduced with lifestyle changes.Learn More