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Coronavirus New Zealand

Living with Parkinson’s during the COVID–19 Outbreak in NZ

If you have Parkinson’s, you may be feeling concerned about how COVID-19 or Coronavirus may impact you.

Updated guidance from the UK reflects that some groups of people have an increased risk of contracting severe illness if they get COVID-19. These groups include people over the age of 70, pregnant women and people with certain conditions. The conditions include Parkinson’s.

Currently in NZ, Parkinson's is not considered to be high-risk, although guidance from the UK suggests otherwise. Read the full report from Parkinson's UK here.

However, you are at no increased risk of catching COVID-19 if you have Parkinson's.

Will COVID-19 affect my Parkinson’s medication?

There is no evidence suggesting that Coronavirus will interfere with your medicine. Continue to take your medicine as per usual. If you do become unwell with a virus of any kind, continue to take your medicine and get in contact with your health professional.

The New Zealand government agency PHARMAC has recently released its expectations from NZ medical suppliers. Pharmaceutical suppliers under PHARMAC, the NZ Government agency, have been advised to keep a minimum stock that equals two months' demand in NZ. 

What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus Symptoms

The Ministry of Health advises that COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways.

COVID-19 Coronavirus Symptoms

  • a cough
  • a high temperature (at least 38°C)
  • shortness of breath.

Please note this does not mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

Tips for Protection from COVID-19

Here is the latest information from the Ministry of Health:

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or by covering your mouth and nose with tissues.
  • Put used tissues in the bin or a bag immediately.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for at least 20 seconds).
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
  • Avoid personal contact, such as kissing, sharing cups or food with sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, such as doorknobs.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

Exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms?

Call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 if you have any symptoms and have been to any countries or territories of concern or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19.

Keeping up with COVID-19

This page will be updated as soon as we receive new advice from the Ministry of Health and New Zealand Government.

For further health advice on COVID -19 on how to protect yourself and your family as best as possible from the virus, please head to the Ministry of Health and New Zealand Government Websites:

Parkinson's New Zealand Operational Update

With the recent announcement from our government about the impact of Covid –19 we are making some temporary changes to our service. 

All activities facilitated by Parkinson’s New Zealand will be cancelled from Monday, March 23rd until further notice. These activities include, but are not exclusive to, home visits, support and carer groups, face to face action group meetings, exercise classes, therapy and social groups. As of 8:00 am on March 23, our nursing service has ceased all face-to-face home visits. Instead of a personalised visit, our Parkinson's nurses will now carry out assessments via video conference platforms or over the phone. We will continue to provide support to all people with Parkinson’s and Parkinsonism conditions throughout this unprecedented time. Your health and safety will always be our highest priority so please do continue to connect with us on or social media. Your local Parkinson’s Nurse remains available as usual.

We appreciate this is a stressful time at the moment and it’s important that you do take care of your mental health. We will keep in regular contact with you during this time via social media, our website and email. National Office will remain open; however, some staff may work from home. 

If you are a volunteer and have any further questions, please contact: Operations Manager, Laurence Milton: 021 970 117

If you are a client and have any further questions, please contact: Director of Clinical Services, Tammy Ramsey-Evans: 027 556 5758