Inherited metabolic disease and coronavirus (COVID-19)


A number of you have been in touch looking for advice relating to the global Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) outbreak.  Below is some practical, general information and links to useful, reliable websites.

It is now clear that this a rapidly evolving situation, with advice from the government/HSE changing regularly.  While we are reassured that children do not generally get severe disease, the impact of the infection in the house at all can be significant (sick parents, vulnerable grandparents, etc.) so we strongly recommend frequent hand washing and social distancing to avoid coming in contact with it.

The most reliable and up-to-date information about the outbreak can be found on the HSE website:

The HSE website also has up to date advice on what to do if you’ve recently returned from travel abroad, symptoms to look out for, tips to avoid catching or spreading the virus, and action to take if you become unwell.


Patients with a metabolic emergency plan may have specific feeds, supplements or medications to keep at home for use in the event of illness to prevent metabolic decompensation.

Practical steps to take:

  • Check that any feeds, medications or supplements that you keep at home are in date (not expired for use).
  • Keep a copy of your written emergency guidelines handy to show other healthcare professionals if needed.
  • Keep the contact details of your metabolic team handy, e.g. on your mobile phone.
  • If you use an oral emergency plan, make sure you have enough supply of all the ingredients required at home to last at least 5 days.
  • Buy a thermometer if you do not already have one at home.

If you are unwell:

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 infection (commonest symptoms are cough and fever) then call your GP, as testing is arranged through your GP only.  Please call the metabolic team as usual for metabolic advice if you/your child are unwell.

If you feel that you/your child are unwell and need to attend hospital for immediate/urgent treatment, or are advised to do so by your GP, then please do this.  Give the contact details of your metabolic team to the hospital staff, so that they can be phoned for advice.

Please stay aware of the latest HSE advice for high-risk, more vulnerable patients:

Please be reassured that the metabolic service in CHI at Temple Street will aim to support all patients through this outbreak.

If you have other specific queries or concerns about your metabolic condition, then please contact the National Centre for Inherited Metabolic Disorders (NCIMD), CHI at Temple Street to discuss these further.

Consult the HSE website or your GP if you have queries specific to Coronavirus.

Our contact number is (01) 8784317, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, or call Switchboard (01) 8784200 and ask to speak to the metabolic nurse on call.



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