The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that individuals with hemoglobin disorders such as sickle cell disease (SCD) and thalassemia may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
The CDC recommends individuals with thalassemia consider doing the following:
- Ask their healthcare provider about telemedicine or remote healthcare visits, and knowing when to go to the emergency department.
- Work with their healthcare provider to manage medications and therapies (including hydroxyurea, chelation therapy, blood transfusions, and prescriptions for pain management) and any other health condition they may have (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis).
- Let friends and family know about the need for healthy blood donors.
Individuals with thalassemia may be at higher risk since it can lead to multiple organ complications and underlying medical conditions (eg. heart disease, liver disease, iron overload, kidney disease) which may increase the risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
More information about this CDC guidance can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/groups-at-higher-risk.html#hemoglobin-disorders