Coronavirus and epilepsy header

    Coronavirus and epilepsy

    Fast facts

    1. 1
      Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness that affects your lungs and airways
    2. 2
      The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature (fever) a new, continuous cough, and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Most people will have at least one of these symptoms
    3. 3
      There is some evidence that people with epilepsy could have a slightly increased risk from coronavirus. This doesn’t mean you need to shield, but it’s important to follow the general guidance about social distancing to keep yourself safe
    4. 4
      Some people with epilepsy have other health conditions alongside their epilepsy, which may put them at increased risk of complications
    5. 5
      Some people with epilepsy are more likely to have a seizure when they are unwell, particularly if they have a high temperature (fever). Fever is a symptom of coronavirus, so it’s possible this could trigger seizures for some people with epilepsy
    6. 6
      Most people with epilepsy can safely wear simple cloth face coverings
    7. 7
      People aged 16-64 with epilepsy are in one of the priority groups to get the COVID-19 vaccine


    You need to stay at home (self-isolate) if you’ve been told to by the
    NHS Test and Trace service or if you, or someone you live with:

    woman checking her temperature

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    The Epilepsy Action website has the latest information about how coronavirus may affect people with epilepsy

    Epilepsy Action

    The NHS website has information and advice on avoiding catching or spreading coronavirus

    NHS website

    The UK Government has the latest on what you need to do during the coronavirus outbreak website
    Updated 04 Dec 2020
    Review 12 May 2023
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