Prevention is the best option

Recommendations for paediatric patients who have chronic illnesses and/or are immunosuppressed on how to deal with coronavirus


COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that was identified for the first time in the city of Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. COVID-19 is transmitted by direct contact with the respiratory secretions generated by an infected person as they speak, cough, or sneeze. These secretions can infect another person if they come into contact with that person’s nose, eyes, or mouth. It can also be transmitted by shaking hands with an infected person or touching a surface that harbours the virus.


How COVID-19 affects the population

The incidence of this coronavirus-induced respiratory infection is much higher in adults. Children only represent between 1% and 2% of the total cases, and the vast majority of them only show mild symptoms.

Within the population, there are groups that are more at risk, such as older adults over 65 and people with chronic cardiovascular and lung diseases or diabetes. At the time of writing, it has not been shown that paediatric patients with chronic illnesses and/or who are immunosuppressed are a high-risk group.


What preventative measures can I take?

There are four special measures you can take to avoid being infected by COVID-19, which are:  

  • Wash your hands. It is a good idea to maintain good hand hygiene and wash them often (with soap and water or a 70% alcohol solution), especially after direct contact with people who are ill or their environment.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. After handling objects, you should try not to touch your mouth, nose, or eyes without having washed your hands first. 
  • Use disposable tissues. It is a good idea to cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues or with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands right after doing so.
  • Do not share food, utensils (cutlery, cups, towels, handkerchiefs, etc.), or other objects without cleaning them properly first.


Living with infected people

If someone you live with shows symptoms, the first recommendation would be for you to go and live somewhere else temporarily and avoid living with that person. If this is not possible, the family member showing symptoms should stay isolated from the rest of the members of the household, in a well-ventilated bedroom. If possible, they should have their own bathroom. 

The people who care for them should wear surgical masks and gloves to avoid contact with the infected person's body fluids. In addition, they should maintain strict hygiene habits such as washing their hands often with soap and water and keeping a safe distance, one metre as a minimum. Children and teens should wear a surgical mask or one recommended by their doctor.


What should we do if we feel ill?

The most common symptoms that a COVID-19 infection causes are fever, a cough, sore throat, and breathing difficulty. If someone has one or more of these symptoms, the first thing to do is call their primary care physician, and not go to the Primary Healthcare Centre (CAP) in person. If it is not possible to get into contact with them, call CatSalut Respon, the telephone support service for the Catalan Health Service, at 061 for instructions on what to do.

If the individual has breathing difficulties, a high fever that does not subside with fever reducers, or general malaise, they should go to the Emergency Department.

If you have had contact with someone with COVID-19, you need to be on the lookout for symptoms.


Treatment should not be stopped

Patients with chronic illnesses or those who are immunosuppressed should keep following their normal pharmacological treatment, unless their doctor instructs them otherwise.

Related professionals
Dr. Pere
Soler Palacín
Person in charge/Coordinator
Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunodeficiencies Unit
Infection in Immunosuppressed Paediatric Patients
Sr. Albert
Cortés Borra
Nursing Supervisor
Dra. Yolanda
Dr. Quique
Sra. Irene
Ortiz Martinez