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 Charity creates “My cough is not coronavirus” badges.

  • SarcoidosisUK releases badges for patients with non-contagious lung diseases to explain coughs and protect them in public.
  • One badge reads “My cough is not contagious. It’s sarcoidosis not coronavirus”.
  • Originally released for sarcoidosis patients, demand from sufferers of other diseases has led to alternative versions.
  • Badges help sufferers of this rare disease gain empathy and understanding and avoid social alienation.
  • Following physical and verbal attacks against people with coughs, these badges help keep sufferers safe.
  • Sufferers of lung conditions are already worried that they’re part of the “underlying conditions” coronavirus mortality statistic
  • Order your badge online.

From Henry Shelford, SarcoidosisUK Chairperson and CEO:

 “Our badges aim to help people have empathy and understanding for those already suffering from non-contagious lung conditions and to dissipate misplaced fear of sufferers with a cough”.

“We’ve already seen instances of violence against individuals thought to be carriers from people who lack even a basic understanding of what contagious means. Our badges help reduce that risk and provide comfort for those that need to go out but know they are very likely to cough”

“It’s also a little about making the world a slightly better place in difficult times by helping people go out if they need to and alleviate any fears for everyone”.

Living with sarcoidosis:

Sufferers of sarcoidosis and other lung diseases are very likely to cough while out in public.

Having a rare disease can already be extremely isolating. There is lack of understanding of the impact and seriousness of sarcoidosis within the general population.

These badges aim to raise awareness of the disease, explain the symptoms and start a conversation.

Definition of sarcoidosis:

Sarcoidosis is a condition that can affect any part of the body, most often the lungs. Clumps of cells called ‘granulomas’ stop the affected organ(s) working properly. There is no known cause or cure. It affects everyone differently and the symptoms depend on the organ(s) affected. In most cases, sarcoidosis can be managed by medication and goes away after a few months or years. In the long-term it can lead to serious organ damage and can be fatal.


Three versions of the badges are available:

  • “My cough is not contagious. It’s sarcoidosis not coronavirus.”
  • “My cough is not contagious. I have a lung condition.”
  • “I have an underlying condition. Please be extra careful around me.”

Notes for editors

  • Sarcoidosis affects around 1 to 2 in every 10,000 people in the UK.[i]
  • About 3,000 cases of sarcoidosis are diagnosed in the UK every year.[ii]
  • A rare disease is one that affects less than 1 in 2000.[iii]
  • There are between 6,000 and 8,000 rare diseases.[iv]
  • 5 million people are affected by a rare disease in the UK.[v] 
  • Photographs: Badge 1, Badge 2, Badge 3, Group, Group 2, SarcoidosisUK logo.
  • Badges can be ordered from our website.


[i] https://bjgp.org/content/bjgp/63/617/663.full.pdf

[ii] https://www.eurordis.org/about-rare-diseases

[iii] https://www.eurordis.org/about-rare-diseases

[iv] https://www.raredisease.org.uk/what-is-a-rare-disease/

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