Thank you for your question about COVID-19 infection and risks for patients with PKU. I do not anticipate that individuals with PKU will suffer any greater risk of being infected with COVID-19 virus than anyone else, and importantly if they do become infected, I do not think that having PKU will cause them to have any more complications or worse symptoms from the virus than anyone else who does not have PKU.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published guidance stating that individuals with inborn errors of metabolism might be at greater risk from COVID-19 than other individuals. This really would apply to those inborn errors of metabolism that are commonly life-threatening which is
the case for PKU.
That being said, COVID-19 is a serious disease. Everyone should obey whatever restrictions and guidelines are being recommended where they live. The most important things are to wash your hands frequently and if ill, particularly with fever, cough, vomiting, or diarrhea, isolate oneself at home and contact your primary care physician (not your PKU providers) about how to be evaluated clinically and tested for COVID-19. If you’re feeling more severely ill, such as shortness of breath, then contact 911.
The most important thing to do with regards to PKU and the system disruptions that are likely to occur in the next few weeks is to make certain that you have ordered and obtained at least one month’s supply of medical food or medication.