COVID-19 and asbestos-related diseases – how it can affect you

Older Man Looking Out Window

COVID-19 virus has affected the whole world and each person who contracts it can experience it differently – especially if they are elderly or have underlying health conditions.

Sadly, these two factors also identify the majority of another existing vulnerable group – asbestos sufferers.

As COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, those who suffer from the likes of pleural plaques, asbestosis or mesothelioma are even more at risk.

The Government will therefore be writing to such individuals to offer key safety advice around self-isolation, social distancing and shielding.

In the meantime, those diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease and their families should continue to follow NHS guidelines:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
  • Don’t touch your face (particularly your mouth, nose and eyes)
  • Stay inside - if you need groceries then ask family, friends and neighbours to help

Self-isolation can be hard so if you have friends or family then try and speak to them over the phone when you can – most mobile phones now even allow video calls so that can be a great way to stay in touch with loved ones.

Be aware that if you are not currently on an active treatment for your asbestos-related disease then it is likely routine appointments and scans over the coming months may be cancelled or postponed.

If you have any concerns then specialist support charities such as Asbestos Action and Clydebank Asbestos Group are still open for business to help you and your family however they can.

For more information on protecting yourself from COVID-19 visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/