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Last updated: 24 March 2020

Important information about COVID-19 (coronavirus)


At the end of December 2019, Chinese public health authorities reported several cases of acute respiratory syndrome in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China. Chinese scientists soon identified a novel coronavirus as the main causative agent. The disease is now referred to as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The initial outbreak in Wuhan spread rapidly, affecting other parts of China. Cases were soon detected in several other countries. Outbreaks and clusters of the disease have since been observed in Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa and the Americas.1

The virus seems to be transmitted mainly via respiratory droplets that people sneeze, cough, or exhale.2

There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus; people who develop COVID-19 are treated to relieve the symptoms. Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses.3

On 11 March 2020, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.


  1. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), COVID-19 overview. Read more on the ECDC website
  2. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Q & A on COVID-19. Read more on the ECDC website
  3. UK National Health System (NHS), Coronavirus (COVID-19). Read more on the NHS website

International and national guidelines

International healthcare organisations such as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organisations (WHO) have issued guidelines and advice for the public on how to behave during the current COVID-19 global outbreak and on what to do to reduce the risk of catching and spreading the infection.

Since the situation is constantly and rapidly evolving, these guidelines are constantly updated and amended. We therefore recommend you refer to the links below:

In addition to the above, national governments of European and non-European countries have published or are publishing country-specific guidelines, measures and actions. Please ensure you contact the local health authorities in the country where you are based for specific advice.

As an example, these are the guidelines published by the UK National Health System (NHS):

The European Commission, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the national Head of Medicines Agencies (HMA) have published new recommendations for sponsors on how to manage the conduct of clinical trials in the context of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic:

COVID-19 and Parkinson's: useful links and resources

Articles from Parkinson's Life online magazine

Multimedia resources

Factsheets, articles and advice



  • Phanhdone T, Drummond P, Meisel T, Friede N, Di Rocco A, Chodosh J, Fleisher J, Barriers to Vaccination Among People with Parkinson’s Disease and Implications for COVID-19read article
  • HØrmann Thomsen T, Wallerstedt S, Winge K, Bergquist F, Life with Parkinson’s Disease During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Pressure Is “OFF”read article
  • Feeney M P, Xu Y, Surface M, Shah H, Vanegas-Arroyave N, Chan A K, Delaney E, Przedborski S, Beck J C, Alcalay R N, The impact of COVID-19 and social distancing on people with Parkinson’s disease: a survey studyread article
  • Parkinson's Foundation, Coping with COVID-19: Survey Results from People with Parkinson’s During the Pandemicread article
  • Bloem B, Trenkwalder C, Sanchez-Ferro A, Kalia L, Alcalay R, Chiang H, Kang U J, Goetz C, Brundin P, Papa S M, COVID-19 Vaccination for Persons with Parkinson’s Disease: Light at the End of the Tunnel?read article
  • Zhang Q, Schultz J M, Aldridge G M, Simmering J E, Narayanan N S, COVID‐19 case fatality and Parkinson’s diseaseread article
  • Cohen M E, Eichel R, Steiner-Birmanns B, Janah A, Ioshpa M, Bar-Shalom R, Paul JJ, Gaber H, Skrahina V, Bornstein N M, Yahalom G, A case of probable Parkinson's disease after SARS-CoV-2 infection – read article
  • Santos García D, Oreiro M, Pérez P, Fanjul G, Paz González J M, Feal Painceiras M, Cores Bartolomé C, Valdés Aymerich L, García Sancho C, Castellanos Rodrigo M, Impact of COVID‐19 Pandemic on Parkinson´s Disease: A Cross‐sectional Survey of 568 Spanish Patients – read article
  • Lancaster University – A third of people with Parkinson’s have seen their health deteriorate in lockdown
  • Cilia R, Bonvegna S, Straccia G, Golfrè Andreasi N, Elia A E, Romito L M, Devigili G, Cereda E, Eleopra R, Effects of COVID‐19 on Parkinson's disease clinical features: a community‐based case‐control studyread article
  • Thomas S, Mancini F, Ebenezer L, Price J, Carta T, Cordasco J, Tedesco C, Gillett S, Parkinson's disease and the COVID-19 pandemic: responding to patient need with nurse-led telemedicineread article
  • Antonini A, Leta V, Teo J, Chaudhuri K R, Outcome of Parkinson's Disease patients affected by COVID‐19 – read article
  • Helmich R C, Bloem B, The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Parkinson’s Disease: Hidden Sorrows and Emerging Opportunitiesread article

Other resources on COVID-19

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