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What Are the Effects of Coronavirus on Mesothelioma Patients?

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on January 20, 2022

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the world, it makes significant waves that affect many aspects of life. Our New York mesothelioma attorney knows that for mesothelioma patients, it has especially impacted the accessibility of medical care. Many hospitals and units previously dedicated to treating mesothelioma patients are now exclusively seeing COVID-19 patients. The state of health of the average mesothelioma patient also makes him or her especially vulnerable to the coronavirus. Take precautions against the virus immediately if you have mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Treatment Interruptions Due to COVID-19

Hospitals around the world are dedicating teams of medical professionals – especially pulmonary medical professionals – to the treatment of COVID-19 patients. This has unfortunately had a negative impact on treatment and care for many other patients, including those with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. While it is important to provide top-notch care to COVID-19 patients, people with mesothelioma are sadly facing negative consequences due to reduced health care availability.

For example, in New York City, the pulmonary team at Weill Cornell Medical is exclusively treating COVID-19 patients. A viral video from Dr. David Price of the Weill Cornell Center explained that the center has replaced the treatment of their usual pulmonary cases (including mesothelioma patients) with COVID-19 cases. Resources that would normally go to lung transplants and mesothelioma treatments are now almost entirely focused on coronavirus patients during this global crisis.

Mesothelioma Patients Are an Especially At-Risk Group for COVID-19

From the beginning, physicians and experts have advised vulnerable and at-risk groups to take special precautions to avoid the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people with underlying medical conditions, including lung conditions such as pleural mesothelioma, take major precautions in protecting themselves from COVID-19. Contracting the virus could be fatal for patients with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses.

Mesothelioma victims are cancer patients with compromised immune systems. Most often, they are also older patients. The average age of victims diagnosed with mesothelioma is 69. The elderly are a vulnerable population for COVID-19. Mesothelioma patients, in particular, may have undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy, making them extremely immunocompromised. They are among the most at-risk populations to contract the coronavirus. If you have mesothelioma, take great precautions to protect yourself during this pandemic.

How a Mesothelioma Patient Can Avoid Coronavirus

Your number one protection during the coronavirus outbreak is avoiding exposure. Health providers believe the virus spreads mainly from person-to-person contact. If you can prevent exposure, you can protect yourself or your loved one with mesothelioma from potentially fatal health consequences. Avoid contact with the virus by isolating yourself while the federal or state government continues to warn people of any risk of exposure. No vaccine currently exists to prevent COVID-19. Avoiding the virus will take self-isolation for immunocompromised populations.

  • Self-quarantine at your home with only your other household members.
  • Wash your hands often using soap and warm water.
  • Use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol if you cannot wash your hands.
  • Do your best not to touch your face, mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Use a disinfectant to clean frequently touched surfaces every day.
  • Only leave your home for essentials, or not at all if you can have items delivered.
  • Arrange virtual doctor’s appointments whenever possible.
  • Do not get within six feet of people outside of your household.
  • If you must go out, wear an approved mask to protect yourself and others.

The coronavirus is a respiratory illness – especially dangerous for someone with existing respiratory problems, such as those connected to asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. Take immediate precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19 as a mesothelioma patient. Keep in mind that even someone who is asymptomatic (not showing any symptoms of the coronavirus) could still be a carrier. Practice social distancing as someone who is at a higher risk of serious illness due to mesothelioma.

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