SICKLE CELL & COVID 19
WHAT TO KNOW
CDC ON SICKLE CELL AND COVID-19
People of any age with Sickle Cell Disease are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines (initial doses and boosters) and preventive measures for COVID-19 are important, especially if you are older or have multiple or severe health conditions including those on this list.
Approved and authorized COVID-19 vaccines (initial doses and boosters) are safe and effective and should be administered to people at higher risk including people with underlying medical conditions. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines for people with underlying medical conditions.
Some immunocompromised people may be eligible for a COVID-19 additional primary dose.
This list does not include all possible conditions that place you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you have a condition not included here, talk to your doctor about how best to manage your condition and protect yourself from COVID-19.
HEMOGLOBIN BLOOD DISORDERS, SCD
Having hemoglobin blood disorders like sickle cell disease (SCD) or thalassemia can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Click here for more information.
iNFECTIONS AND SICKLE CELL DISEASE
Common illnesses, like the flu, can quickly become dangerous for a person with sickle cell disease. The best defense is to take simple steps to help prevent infections.
Washing your hands is one of the best ways to help prevent getting an infection. People with sickle cell disease, their family, and other caretakers should wash their hands with soap and clean water many times each day. If you don’t have soap and water, you can use gel hand cleaners with alcohol in them. Wash hands before eating and making food. Wash them after using the bathroom; blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; shaking hands; touching people or things that can carry germs.
Bacteria, called salmonella, in some foods can be especially harmful to children with sickle cell disease. How to stay safe when cooking and eating:
- Wash hands, cutting boards, counters, knives, and other utensils after they touch uncooked foods.
- Wash vegetables and fruit well before eating them.
- Cook meat until it’s well done. The juices should run clear and there should be no pink inside.
- Do not eat raw or undercooked eggs. Raw eggs might be hiding in homemade hollandaise sauce, caesar and other homemade salad dressings, tiramisu, homemade ice cream, homemade mayonnaise, cookie dough, and frostings.
- Do not eat raw or unpasteurized milk or other dairy products (cheeses). Make sure these foods have a label that says they are “pasteurized.”
FACTS & RESOURCES
SICKLE CELL DISEASE
People With Sickle Cell At Higher Risk for Severe COVID-19
People with sickle cell disease who have a COVID-19 infection are more likely to be hospitalized and to require intensive level care (ICU) in the hospital. They are also more likely to die from COVID-19 than people without sickle cell disease.
One study followed 178 people with sickle cell anemia and COVID-19 infection. The average age of people in the study was less than 40 years old. Sixty-nine percent of people needed to be treated in a hospital, and 7% of them died.
what should i do if think i might have covid-19?
Get a COVID-19 test.
Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms that could be consistent with COVID-19.
Most vaccinated people have mild illness and can recover at home. If you think you have COVID-19 and have symptoms of illness, you should get tested.
If you have severe symptoms, seek emergency medical care right away by calling 911. Call ahead to the emergency department and tell the operator that you may have COVID-19.
Learn more about COVID-19 and what to do if you get sick.