Self isolation?: Given the governments... - Asthma UK communi...

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Self isolation?


Given the governments latest announcement does anyone have any clarity around whether asthma is included in the 12wk recos? I have the flu jab, but can’t see any advice...thank you!!

69 Replies

No, It’s not clear to me. I have asthma which has put me in intensive care before so it is severe...however I’m a teacher so I can’t self isolate until they close the schools or I won’t get paid. I don’t know what to do for the best 🤷‍♀️

I’m a teacher too. Surely we are entitled to sick pay if we are on a govt list? My asthma is bad at the moment. I am not going back to school until I’ve spoken to my GP. I’m thinking I’ll try and ask to be signed off with asthma.

So much is going to be a judgment call, I suspect. I do get encouraged to have a flu jab and when I get flu I get it worse, so the same may apply here. I'm keeping my head down.

Asthma is not included in the 12 week isolation. From my understanding, the major underlying health conditions that require isolation are chronic heart conditions, chronic kidney conditions, other significant health issues & pregnancy.

However if your asthma is severe/you have any other underlying issues other than asthma/you are currently struggling with your asthma, I would recommend to try and socially distance yourself :). Hope this helps.

And respiratory conditions. That is what i have heard every time.

It is on the list, it’s on the government website.

I thought the advice for 12 weeks isolation was for anyone who has to have the yearly flu jab 🤔 am hoping asthma uk will clarify tomorrow

Ok asthmatics are on the list see the official guidance:

Chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty said the group of people who should take "particular care to minimise their social contact" were:

People over the age of 70

Other adults who would normally be advised to have the flu vaccine (such as those with chronic diseases)

Pregnant women

Asthmatics would normally be advised to have flu jab, at least I have every year, so surely his comment includes all those with asthma. Bit of a "woolly" comment though don't you think?

This is what it says on the link that Llamafarmer highlighted above:

“People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)”

Now, haven’t most people with asthma taken oral steroids?

I have read on the Guardian online blog just now that Matt Hancock has told MPs that the government would soon be contacting people with significant health conditions who should be largely shielded for the next three months. It goes on to say that the NHS will contact those people over the next week. A list of those conditions will be published. If you think you should have been contacted and you haven’t by next week then get in contact with the NHS.

Hope this helps a bit. I’m in a similar situation as I’m eligible for the free flu jab. I have asthma which is mostly well controlled but can flare up with viruses.

Thank you! Do you have a link to the article at all?

Thanks everyone. To be clear I'm on the texted list for the flu jab, and have ended up in hospital for my asthma whenever I get the flu as tends to turn into pneumonia and need. Definitely seems quite ambiguous, but thank you so much! Hopefully we'll get clarity tomorrow x

Where will we be getting clarity from? My 11 year old son’s asthma is not under control and he has the flu jab, but school’s are still open. Don’t know what to do!!!!

I’m hoping asthma uk will update tomorrow, but sounds like this is the latest. Those with more severe asthma to be contacted by the nhs next week!

Hoping it all becomes clearer xx

Thank you so much for your response, take care and hope we get a definitive answer soon xx this BBC article from today lists asthma?

Anyone with asthma is considered to have a compromised underlying health condition that leaves them vulnerable to Covid-19 as lung capacity is reduced to 20% if the virus hits your system, should you come down with this virus self isolation is required & should breathing become difficult contact 111

in reply to daleboy3

20% where did you see this please?

in reply to Woody49

Watch the governments health advice that has got very tough on movement with anyone that is vulnerable or has a compromised health condition, Asthma sufferers are at risk if infected due due restricted lung capacity

Looks like we're on the list if we are forced to have the flu jab etc -

Hi again. It’s on the Guardian newspaper online Coronavirus blog which is constantly updated. It came up at 6:15 pm and I took a photo of it. I’ve related it almost word for word in my earlier post. I’m looking for it now and will post a link if I find it again.

Hopefully all will become clearer very soon. Take care

I thought it said long term health conditions - of which asthma is on the list according to the hse. So from that if you have asthma and are asked to have the flu jab, I would say yes, self isolation for 12 weeks is likely from next weekend - if Boris goes that far, which looks likely.

But I can’t say if it will be mandatory or advisory.

Which leads to the question of pay😩

Yes and (selfishly)I’m still in my probationary period at work. 😱

in reply to Clanger49

Not selfish. Basic securities like money and resources matter.

in reply to Wheezycat

I’m wondering what will happen with work as I go into schools and teach workshops, if I have to isolate for 12 weeks will work keep me as I can’t actually do my job and can they get rid of me given the circumstances and that asthma is classed as a disability under the Equality Act

Chances are, schools will be closed by next week so that particular bit will be taken out of your hands :-( They are already applying contingency measures and sending kids home with huge packs of work to do

I’m self employed and work with patients (100% unable to do it remote from home). Atm there is no support for self employed people having to self isolate. So I’m looking at 12 weeks of no work and no pay...

Plus I have severe asthma so will be getting more stringent advice from next week apparently...

in reply to EmmaF91

The plight you and others have has been highlighted. Just hope the government will do something.

in reply to Wheezycat

Yeah. I and my colleagues have all signed the petition... just hope something gets put in place before I’m told to isolate...

in reply to EmmaF91

So do I. Had I seen the petition I would have signed it. I hope one of you have also spoken or written to your MP about it. It matters.

in reply to Wheezycat

I guess we will have to wait and see, with fingers crossed it works out ok. Our local mp refuses to answer letter or emails. Will only answer ‘in his surgery’. No, I didn’t vote for him. Plus I often work 14 day weeks so no chance of attending. (Minimum wage)

in reply to Clanger49

And it is not what you should be doing anyway. But if he/she raises it in Parliament or somewhere, surely that is sufficient, not whether you see said person. But if it is ‘one of those’ that is of course no guarantee.

There is information on Asthma is on the list. People with severe asthma will need to take more stringent measures and will be contacted next week.

Coronavirus: What are the 'underlying health conditions' at greater risk from illness?

This article might help clear a few things up. Although, it is still fairly ambiguous.

in reply to Sara84

Yes asthma is on the list

Severe asthma appears in the list of those who will be contacted by the NHS. How are they defining severe? It says hospital admissions and/or courses of steroids. I haven’t been admitted for three years but I had 4 courses of steroids in the past 12 months. I also have permanent obstruction/mild COPD but I think my records say “moderate asthma”. Who makes the judgement call?

That is also my conundrum, pretty similar. Though ok re those steroids for a few months, I had four or five courses before that. I don’t consider myself severe, just moderate like you, but I do not want that dratted virus!

in reply to Wheezycat

What’s the betting between now and next week there will be several different instructions/information on what we are supposed to do. Currently social isolation does seem to be our best option. I hope though they do put in place sensible help for those of us facing weeks of zero pay. Not a great choice is it, potential to die, or lose your home etc.

in reply to Artichokes

Severe asthmatics are those classed as under a tertiary hospital. It’s a defined disease (like diabetes has type 1 and type 2, asthma has asthma and severe asthma... not everyone with asthma has severe asthma, however anyone with asthma can have severe issues if that makes sense). However as they say GPs are most likely to be making the calls I suspect they’ll have a system in place and I suspect the amount of steroid courses you have been on will be one of them.

in reply to EmmaF91

Thanks Emma ❤. I am under the severe asthma clinic at my local hospital (so not tertiary), but I have been on constant steroids since last June (currently on 25mg) so I will wait and see if I get contacted. I am practicing social distancing as recommended by the government as best I can, but hubby doesn't drive.

in reply to Ghoulette

Ugh yeah. Typically those with severe asthma, know they have severe asthma if you get what I mean... they’ve been labelled. Technically severe needs tertiary, but I was unofficially classed as severe by my GP and local cons a good 18+ months before the diagnosis. So hoping that if you’re under a severe asthma team they’ll make contact 🤞🏻

Stay safe. Let’s flatten this curve!

But asthma is on the list anyway for people who should be taking stringent measures to distance themselves, so even if you’re not classed as severe, then surely employers etc have to take this on board and accept it? My asthma will be logged as mild but right now I’m having issues and have just had steroids. I’m clinging on to fact that at least we are on a list.

One of my friends works for the home office and has moderate asthma most of the time but colds often put her on a nebuliser and steroids - she's just been told to take 12 weeks off work - on full pay! :-o <3

Being stringent about measures for social distancing is different from the 12 week isolation. The way I read it is it is strongly advised if you’re asthmatic in general, but it is essential to isolate for 12 weeks if severe.

Absolutely, and it’s right that severe asthmatics are in that group, but social distancing is very hard for people in some jobs, like mine. I really hope and pray that this is acknowledged so I can keep a distance from school. Govt has said no large groups etc, yet parents are still going to flock round school gates and kids will be all over the school. Am I clutching at straws here?

in reply to Recordergirl

Same here. I work as a taxi driver husband as well...I have a 6and a half y o kid...the question remains how much I can keep social distance? Even if I go off from work my husband can't as we are self employed and we need to pay bills and asthma is mild but I am still on the list for receiving flu jab every year..

I’m a midwife, and fairly recently diagnosed with asthma, on fostair. I won’t have an option but to come to work I don’t think! my daughter on the other hand she’s 10, she’s had a very complicated history with previously having had surgery to her lungs (she had an airway malformation - sequestration,) , a repair of a diaphragmatic hernia, and also asthma which last month resulted in a trip to a&e and a course of steroid tablets. So I’m in a major dilemma as I feel I should protect myself , for me but mainly for her!

It’s so so hard! NHS workers with conditions are in such a dilemma! Are you able to speak to your bosses about it? Is there any leeway? I feel for you.

I am a nurse with stage 4 asthma. I’m not clear about what to do. At present, I’m going to work as normal.

Asthmatics are definitely covered by the 12 week self isolation requirements.

Anyone worried about job security - asthma is considered a disability under the Equality Act 2010 (disability being a protected characteristic in the Act). As such, you cannot be discriminated against and your employment is therefore protected. I would urge those who are in employment but not a member of a union to consider the benefits of being a member with access to representation. At the end of the day it is your choice.

Most large employers understand their legal obligations and will be aware of the protections afforded by the Equality Act.

Paid absence is another kettle of fish and each employer will have protocols which you can find in your employer's hand book. At the very least most employees will be entitled to statutory sick pay, paid by the employer. Those not covered by employment law (zero hours contracts, contract workers & self employed) should have access to the Universal Credit system.

More information relating to employment laws, Equality laws etc can be found on the website

I don’t think mine is recorded as severe asthma, but I’m on 3 inhalers (including my blue when needed), montelukast and then a antihistamine nasal spray and fexofenadine as mine is worse in summer (although I have no allergies just local nasal allergy to pollens they reckon) I’m under the hospital asthma clinic and ENT currently but haven’t had a hospital admission since last summer however hayfever season is starting so it’s an added complication! Basically do I count as bad enough to fully self isolate so confused!

Hi I’ve got brittle asthma and currently home for two weeks paid with a chest infection im due to go back to work Monday I have the pneumonia jab and flu jab and can’t decide to use my last two weeks sick pay to take me up to Easter as then I have Easter off or wait and go back to work and save the two weeks in case I need it after Easter my work have said we will only get 4 weeks paid I’m a nursery teacher ?? It’s all so stressful and concerning

Yes it is included it is on the list.

The government web site includes asthma.

The briefing yesterday by the prime minister and in particular Prof Whitty stated heart disease, respiratory disease and those pregnant. The professor then went on to say basically anyone who has the flu jab.

So anyone with asthma should take care and isolate for 12 weeks. At the end of the day your safety and well-being must be top priority.

I’m a teacher with asthma and have two asthmatic children, one of whom has a mild immune deficiency too. We are self isolating at the min with a virus but feel hugely conflicted about what to do about work. Hoping they close the schools and I can work from home although I know that will have a negative impact for some. This is such a strange time!

Hi, I work as a TA at a primary school, I have been worried about getting it. I made decision today to self isolate as Asthma is on the list to self distance . My head and management were fine about my descion on even though I feel bad about everyone else having to work there. Take care everyone.

Seems to me like gov is drip feeding us info so it's confusing, but I've read several places that it's anyone in high risk category ie. those eligible for flu jabs. Asthma is both high risk and in the flu jab category. Stay safe, hope this is of some use x

I am already social isolating. I have read through all your comments. I just want to wish you all well and stay safe.


My company (a government organisation) has told me that anyone that has a free flu jab is to social distance themselves and work at home for 12 weeks immediately. The government needs to make this clear to everyone! The only problem I have is finding enough work to last this time, but my managers have also been told they are responsible for identifying it.

I personally have mild asthma with brown preventer recommended to take when I need ,if I need..but I am on the list for having the free flu vaccine every single year. In 2016 o had a nasty pneumonia..use to make chest infections quite often but no infection in the last 6 months or so..I have no idea if I should isolate or not. Seems that none can tell me for sure..P.S I work as a taxi driver- self employed

Hi everyone. I think I've only ever posted on here once before (I have found reading the posts so useful though), but I'm posting now because I feel really strongly about this and urge you all to protect yourselves.

As far as I'm concerned this is straightforward: asthma is on the list, everyone with a diagnosis of asthma gets the flu jab (I think ...), so we are all considered to be in the same category as people 70+ etc for the purposes of this latest guidance.

People with severe asthma are going to be asked to take *even more stringent* measures in due course, but *everyone* with a diagnosis of asthma should be following the measures for 70+ and other vulnerable people that have already been stated (albeit stated in an unhelpfully woolly way).

I am mindful that it's easier for me to say because I have both a great line manager who advised me to work from home from several days before yesterday's announcement, and I have a job that can be easily done from home, so I don't have to stop working.

But honestly folks, and with the utmost respect for everyone who I know will be trying to do the right thing, I don't think anyone should be making an individual call here. I am frankly shocked to hear that anyone in secure public service positions like teachers and nurses would be for one moment expected to be in work following the announcement. If you can't work from home you should be able to go off work with no detriment to pay, simple as. You're following government guidance. Others in this thread have stated that they've had straightforward acceptance from their employers when they've gone off.

I know it's really difficult if you have a difficult employer, but asthma is covered by the DDA as Poobah said, so that is the line to take if they threaten not to pay you, and if you're in a union (in my opinion anyone who possibly can be should be, to protect themselves and the rest of their workforce), then a rep will help you fight it.

For people who are self employed and precariously employed, it's even more difficult, but we just have to push / hope that the government step up properly on supporting you. (They seem to be starting to do so from today ...).

Yes, different people with asthma have significantly different levels of severity, but we all know that even the mildest of asthma can flare up badly out of the blue, and this thing is a total unknown, so please look after your health when you are being asked to and given guidance that enables you to.

I also think it's important to say that this is about everyone else in society too. In Italy choices are having to be made between people for treatment right now. We are in a group that is likely to have severe symptoms if we catch this virus, but following the guidance we've been given to the letter makes it so much less likely we'll get it - or at least less likely we'll get it at a time of a steep peak of cases - and as such we can do our bit to make sure that no medic has to make the kinds of decisions the medics in Italy are having to make.

I know my response is pushy, and I'm sorry and will edit / remove if it is deemed too strong, (plus brevity has never been my strong point), but this is the biggest and scariest thing society has faced in a century, and we must take it seriously and look after ourselves and each other. Please do your best to keep well, everyone x

in reply to ant72

I understand your point and totally agree with everything you said, however when there are so many people with ‘mild’ asthma (4 in my dept out of 8) and we work in healthcare, if we all went off there would be no dept to run and nobody to see the patients. I am waiting for more advice from my employer but it’s not possible for me to work from home, in this case unison states that we should be redeployed to an area where we can work from home, but in some cases employers may have to send the employee home on full pay!! I highly doubt that my employer will do this. I think I’ll be expected to be at work, but possibly kept away from any suspected cases.

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