On behalf of the ATF, our thoughts are with all Australians who have been directly impacted by COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and their families, friends and loved ones. We also want to say thank you to the amazing medical providers and healthcare professionals who have been working tirelessly in response to this pandemic – our gratitude and appreciation for your efforts to keep Australians safe throughout this period cannot be overstated.
In this unique and unprecedented time, we know there is vast amounts of information circulating about COVID-19, which may be overwhelming and confusing. As such, we wanted to provide an update for Australians living with a thyroid disorder (incl. thyroid cancer, Hashimoto’s disease or Graves disease), to address any concerns you may have about the impact of COVID-19 on your health.
We have consulted our team of Medical Advisors for advice about this issue, to ensure you have the correct information.
What you need to know
While many people with a thyroid disorder may have an autoimmune condition (such as Hashimoto’s disease), this does not mean you are ‘immuno-compromised’. The part of the immune system that’s responsible for autoimmune thyroid conditions is separate to the immune system that’s responsible for fighting off viral infections, such as coronavirus.
You shouldn’t think of yourself as being immuno-compromised if you have thyroid disease. When health experts refer to ‘immuno-compromised’ people being at higher risk of COVID-19, they are typically referring to those who may have a history of leukaemias, malignancies, or who have undertaken chemotherapy. These are considered to be a true ‘recognised immune deficiency’, and are more uncommon. In addition, any patients who may be taking steroids, such as prednisone, could also be at risk for coronavirus.
Australians with a thyroid disease should follow the same hygiene precautions as the rest of the population to limit the spread of infection.
We understand this is a daunting time for all Australians, including our thyroid community. To ensure you have access to the right information, we have provided a list of resources below, for your reference.
Please ensure you follow the guidance of our federal and state governments and health authorities to help contain the spread of the virus. Be sure to follow appropriate hygiene precautions and social distancing, while observing advice about self-isolation and quarantining, should you come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Take care and stay safe,
From your ATF team.
Additional COVID-19 Resources
Telephone support: For non-clinical information about COVID-19, please call the Commonwealth Department of Health’s Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.
Online information: For reliable information on COVID-19, please visit the healthdirect and/or Department of Health (DoH) sites.
Symptom Checker: Check your symptoms and find out if you need to seek medical attention, through this self-guided online COVID-19 Symptom Checker.