Call the Huntington’s Victoria Info Line on 1800 063 501
Our business hours are:
9am-5pm EST, Monday to Friday
COVID-19 is a new illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, also known as the coronavirus. COVID-19 causes respiratory symptoms similar to the flu. Because it’s new there are no available vaccinations, treatments of cures. Therefore as a community it is important that we access reliable information about keeping safe and what we can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Most people infected with COVID -19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory symptoms. There are however certain members of the broader community who are considered to be at risk of developing a more serious illness.
A diagnosis of Huntington’s disease does not necessarily place you at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 compared to your peers. You may be at greater risk of developing more serious illness, if your respiratory system is already compromised such as having swallowing problems and/or risk of aspiration as can be seen in people with advanced HD. You may also find it more challenging to implement the important strategies of protecting yourself and others (hand washing, social distancing and isolation). If you believe you, or a loved one is at greater risk then it is important that you discuss how you put the measures in place to protect yourselves. If you are living by yourself and are having minimal opportunities to access support from family or friends contact us to discuss your situation further.
Could I have COVID-19?
If you have concerns that you may be displaying symptoms of Covid-19 then you are encouraged to complete the online assessment tool which will inform you as to whether you meet the criteria to be tested or if you should seek medical help. If you live in Victoria you can also complete the Victorian interactive self-assessment tool.
Whilst some of the symptoms of Covid-19 may be similar to HD such as fatigue there are a number of other symptoms that when experienced together, would not resemble symptoms of HD. These include:
If you are experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pain or numbness please contact 000.
If you have further questions about Coronavirus you can also contact the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. This service is available 24/7
What happens if myself or my carer/member of my family have COVID-19
If you, or someone in your household is suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19 then you will be asked to self isolate for 14 days. This means you must stay at home, and isolate away from other members of your household. Staying at home means:
If you have HD and live by yourself and have a suspected case of Covid-19 contact Huntington’s Victoria so we can assist you to make sure you have access to any necessary services or supports during this time.
What do they mean by Stay at Home?
During this time, depending on which State or Territory you live in, you will have received advice about when it is ok to leave your home. You can find information on the ‘stay at home’ directive by the Victorian Government here .
Like all Victorian’s the team at HV are doing their part to help stop the spread by staying at home unless it is for one of these 5 reasons:
Access to HD specialist services
If you have an upcoming appointment with a HD service such as with your HD specialist or with a Genetics Service for predictive testing it is advisable to contact the clinic to confirm that outpatient appointments are still being provided in the hospital. Whilst you are able to leave home to access medical services, many services during this time are changing how they deliver services to limit risk of exposure to Covid-19. It is advisable to confirm your appointment prior to attending.
For a list of the main HD clinics, genetic services and HD associations in Australia click here