Liver Cirrhosis patients are at higher risk of Contracting COVID-19
By Dr Raghuram Kondala, Consultant Medical Gastroenterologist, Continental Hospitals
Coronavirus has taken over the world. Everyone around us is talking about only one thing that is to keep your immune system strong. Whether it's the elders or social media, everyone is giving us tips on how to build our immune system. But it's not the same for people who are already suffering from diseases like liver cirrhosis as their immune system is weak. Hence they are more prone to getting infected by this deadly virus.
Liver cirrhosis is a disease where the liver stops functioning properly and the patients may need liver transplantation in some cases. One of the major reasons why patients with liver cirrhosis have poor immune systems is that this organ plays an important role by removing toxins from the bloodstream. It also helps in the growth and development of the cells fighting microbes and infection. It is one of the top places where disease-fighting antibodies are produced. Hence it is more important for patients with liver cirrhosis to be extra cautious. Especially those who have recently undergone a liver transplant and on are immunosuppressant drugs, which helps in better acceptance of the organ. However, these lower the immunity and make them susceptible to many infections including COVID-19.Here are few things that patients with liver cirrhosis should keep in mind during the time of COVID-19:
- During this time it is important that you follow your doctor's prescription and do not make any changes in your health schedule without consulting the doctor. You can also ask them if there should be an addition to your medications and other activities that can help you be fit and healthy.
- It is necessary that people with liver cirrhosis should avoid going out at all circumstances. Even if you are not well please contact your doctor and ask them what should be done instead of going to the hospital. As these patients have a very high risk of getting the virus. We advise them to stay home as much as possible unless it is an emergency.
- Use masks and sanitizers even at home when you are coming in contact with any of your family members, especially those who have come from the market or other public spaces. You should also maintain social distancing with everyone.
- Patients with liver cirrhosis should be more vigilant about dust around them, as that can lead to other infections. It is advised that such patients are kept in a hygienic environment and the cleaning should be done at least twice a day. Also, caregivers should sanitise areas which are used by everyone such as doorknobs, switchboard, etc.
While liver issues can make you vulnerable, with the right care you can protect yourself form COVID-19.
Dr Raghuram Kondala,
Consultant Medical Gastroenterologist
Disclaimer: : The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.