Message from the SAFE President

About Covid-19

The virus can cause pneumonia-like symptoms. Those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. In severe cases there can be organ failure. As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use. The antiviral drugs we have against flu will not work. If people are admitted to hospital, they may get support for their lungs and other organs, as well as fluids. Recovery will depend on the strength of their immune system. Many of those who have died were vulnerable because of existing underlying health conditions.

The name Covid-19 was announced on 11 February by the World Health Organization. The director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “We had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease. Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatising.”(1)

General Tips

For general prevention, the CDC recommends the following preventive measures to increase community resilience and readiness for response to an outbreak:

  • Voluntary home isolation: Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At the present time, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to COVID-19-related virus.
  • Respiratory etiquette: Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
  • Hand hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60–95% alcohol.
  • Environmental health action: Routinely clean frequently touched surfaces and objects. (2)

Covid-19 Resuce Hub

Resources pages from SAFE member countries 

Italy: Rehabilitation for stroke patients in Italy

UK: The Stroke Association UK (information that apply for the UK)

Portugal: Portugal AVC National Patient Survey on stroke and Covid-19 (Portuguese)

Other organisations resources:

European Academy of Neurology – Stroke care at the time of Covid-19 outbreak

The European Centre for Disease Protection and Control (ECDC) : Download today’s data on the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases worldwide (click here)

Please see other live updates and resource hubs from the organisations below:

World Health Organization

European Stroke Organisation

World Stroke Organization

European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA)

European Society of Cardiology – COVID-19 and Cardiology – An interview with Dr. Bart van der Worp, President of ESO- 

The Joint Commission (USA) platform for tools and resources

Please see this video, produced by the Angels Initiative for Italy with all relevant stroke related scientific societies and A.L.I.C.E: Emergenza COVID-19 – L’Ictus non resta a casa

And the Spanish version, including also a TV moderator and soccer stars Emergencia COVID-19: El Ictus no se queda en casa 

We will be updating the list of resource pages as we get updates from other countries where SAFE has a member stroke support organisation.

Image by Vektor Kunst from Pixabay

(1) Source: The
(2) Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)