COVID-19 FAQ #37: Should myeloma patients continue to wear a mask?

Should immunocompromised individuals continue to wear masks?

In this episode, myeloma expert Dr. Brian G.M. Durie discusses how immunocompromised individuals including myeloma patients can continue to protect themselves during the delta surge.


Continue to wear a mask and practice physical distancing.

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This week’s “Ask Dr. Durie” is from a patient who wants to know whether she should still be wearing a mask. 

And the definitive answer to this is: Yes, masks are incredibly important for myeloma patients. One of the main reasons is that because of the surge of the Delta variant of COVID-19, a very infectious variant, it is especially important for myeloma patients to be as protected as possible.  

This is particularly true because we also know that even although fully vaccinated, a myeloma patient may not have the neutralizing antibody levels that are necessary to fight off, particularly the Delta variant COVID-19 infection. 

So, yes, masks should be worn. What type of masks? I strongly recommend now, getting the top quality KN95 masks, the best quality masks. You can also use double masking to fully be protected.  

In addition, it is best to avoid crowded places. It is also important to be very cautious indoors if you are in contact with people who maybe have not been vaccinated or you’re not sure if they have been vaccinated or not.  

So, a degree of caution is also strongly recommended. So BOTTOM LINE: Masks are a strong must for myeloma patients. So, do not throw away your mask for now. 

Image of Dr. Brian G.M. DurieDr. Brian G.M. Durie serves as Chairman of the International Myeloma Foundation and serves on its Scientific Advisory Board. Additionally, he is Chairman of the IMF's International Myeloma Working Group, a consortium of nearly 200 myeloma experts from around the world. Dr. Durie also leads the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative®.


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