March 11, 2020

Coronavirus and PKD

Coronavirus and PKD: What You Should Know

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person contact. Older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions, including kidney disease, seem to be at higher risk for more serious illness.  Therefore, it is especially important for people with PKD to take actions to reduce your risk of exposure.

Depending on the severity of the outbreak in your community, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommends the below to slow the spread and reduce the impact of the disease.

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
    • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
  • clean the following high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water):
    • toys
    • toilets
    • phones
    • electronics
    • door handles
    • bedside tables
    • television remotes

Patients with early-stage kidney disease or who are post-transplant should consult with their doctors to see if any additional preventative measures are necessary

Guidance for Dialysis Treatments

If you are a dialysis patient, you may be at higher risk for becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 but it’s important that you do not miss your treatments. If you feel sick, please be sure to tell a member of your healthcare team. The PHAC has up-to-date information on clinic closings and emergency resources. If you’re concerned, here are some questions you can ask the staff at your centre:

  • Can I wait in my car instead of in the waiting room?
  • What should I do if I have any flu-like symptoms?
  • Can you provide a mask for me to wear during my treatment?
  • What procedures do you have in place if you suspect a patient at the centre may have COVID‍-‍19?
  • How will you inform patients of any emergency information?
  • Where will I receive dialysis if I get sick?

Check out this 3-Day Emergency Diet Plan; it does not take the place of dialysis but can reduce the waste that builds up in your blood in an emergency where you are unable to get to your treatment.

Guidance for Post-Transplant Patients

If you are a post-transplant patient, due to your need for immunosuppressive drugs, you may be at higher risk for becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. If you feel sick, please be sure to tell a member of your healthcare team. If you’re concerned, here are some questions you can ask the staff at your centre:

  • What should I do about having medications on hand?
  • If I am feeling sick, should I contact my primary care doctor?
  • If I am feeling sick, should I contact the transplant centre?
  • Should I wear a face mask when I need to have labs?

Kidney-Friendly Shelf-Stable Items for Your Pantry

If there is a virus outbreak in your area and you need to decrease your risk of getting sick, it’s important that you have shelf-stable food (foods that last a long time without spoiling, such as canned foods) in your home. It’s important to prepare now by stocking up 2–3 weeks’ worth of healthy, kidney friendly foods, fresh water, and medicines. This will help reduce your risk of infection by allowing you to avoid crowded spaces like grocery stores and drug stores.

More information about how to get your home ready and updates about COVID-19 can be found on the PHAC website or your local health department. If you have any other questions or concerns please email us at [email protected].

Useful Links from the Public Health Agency of Canada

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Outbreak Updates
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Frequently Asked Questions
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19): Travel Health Notices
Public Health Authorities