Protecting vulnerable patients with inherited anaemias from unnecessary death during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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With the developing COVID-19 pandemic (caused by the novel zoonotic SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus), the UK population are urged to follow Government advice on managing symptoms and reducing viral transmission (1). Unusually, patients with sickle cell anaemia (HbSS genotype) have been explicitly mentioned in this as a group at increased risk due to their non-functioning spleen (2). Unfortunately, there is no specific advice for patients with sickle cell disease of other genotypes, thalassaemia and other inherited anaemias. Many of these are at increased risk of fulminant bacterial infection, and therefore may erroneously self-isolate if their fever is mistakenly attributed to a viral cause, delaying potentially life-saving antibiotic therapy.

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