Blood cancer and coronavirus
What if I get coronavirus symptoms?
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a virus that can affect the lungs and airways. People with blood cancer are more at risk of serious illness if they get coronavirus.
If you are a healthcare professional, our healthcare professionals pages contain the latest guidance and tools to help you care for your patients and yourself.
Signs and symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
Last updated: 14 July 2020
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- shortness of breath
- change to your sense of smell or taste.
The World Health Organization (WHO) provides a full list of less common symptoms.
If you feel unwell or have symptoms of coronavirus
Last updated: 22 September 2020
Contact your healthcare team immediately if you feel unwell or have symptoms of coronavirus.
If you have blood cancer, you are more at risk of serious illness if you get coronavirus, but the sooner you are diagnosed and treated, the higher your chance of recovery.
The advice to anyone else with symptoms of coronavirus is to visit 111 online or call 111, and self-isolate for 10 days. But if you have blood cancer, you should contact your healthcare team straight away to seek urgent advice, in case you need to go into hospital, as coronavirus is more risky for you.
If you are currently having chemotherapy, contact your chemotherapy support line urgently.
What is coronavirus (COVID-19) and how does it spread?
Last updated: 14 July 2020
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause disease in animals. Some of them have made the jump to humans. The latest coronavirus to do this is COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a new illness so we don't know exactly how it is passed on. However, similar viruses are spread through small droplets when people cough.
The infection could also be passed on by touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
People with blood cancer may have compromised immune systems and therefore be more at risk of serious illness from coronavirus. We have more information about who is at high risk.
Tell us about your experience
You can help improve support for people with blood cancer by completing our impact of coronavirus survey. The results will help us understand the impact on people with blood cancer and help us support clinicians and the NHS.
Keep updated about coronavirus and blood cancer
Join our mailing list for key updates about coronavirus for people with blood cancer, what we're doing to help, and ways you can help, including campaigns you may be interested in.
Support for you
Call our free and confidential helpline on 0808 2080 888 from Monday to Friday, 10am to 7pm, and Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 1pm.
We are currently receiving a very high volume of calls related to coronavirus, so if you're not able to get through straight away, please leave a message and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
You can also email us if you prefer to get in contact that way. We'll usually get back to you within two working days, but due to the current rate of calls and emails we are currently receiving it may take us longer.
Talk to other people with blood cancer on our Online Community Forum – there is a group for coronavirus questions and support.
You can also find out what's helping other people affected by blood cancer through coronavirus and beyond in our pages on living well with or after blood cancer.
The following companies have provided funding for our coronavirus support, but have had no further input: AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Celgene, Gilead, Incyte, Kyowa Kirin, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda.