Should myeloma patients continue to follow COVID-19 prevention measures?

Are COVID-19 Prevention Measures Still Necessary? 

Myeloma expert Dr. Brian G.M. Durie discusses if myeloma patients should continue practicing prevention measures to avoid contracting the COVID-19 infection. 

The BOTTOM LINE: Myeloma patients should continue to follow COVID-19 prevention measures to avoid contracting the disease. 

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Video Transcript
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This week's "Ask Dr. Durie" comes from a patient anxious about COVID-19 infection. With all of the news about the new variants and the fact that they are highly infectious but don't cause much severe disease, the question is: How important is it to take all the measures that you can to avoid catching COVID-19 infection? And until recently, this was an unthinkable question for myeloma patients.

It's important to avoid getting infected. However, since the infections are mild in patients who have been vaccinated and double boosted, for example, we do have treatments such as Paxlovid, an anti-viral therapy for patients who might develop an infection. The consequence of infection is not quite as drastic as they were in the past. However, I would like to emphasize that in some of the milder infections where maybe you're not in the hospital, but you're suffering quite a lot of symptoms.

These are not trivial. And some patients, maybe as many as 30% of individuals are experiencing symptoms beyond the first three months or so, long-term consequences of having COVID-19 infection, which is called long COVID. And so it is, in my mind, still extremely important to do everything to try to avoid developing COVID-19 infection. 

And so, when you're out and about and you're meeting people that you don't know when you're in crowded places, when you're in enclosed spaces indoors, especially with poor ventilation, please wear the best mask that you can—an N95 type mask, very, very important so that you can reduce the chance that you will develop a COVID-19 infection. 

And so, BOTTOM LINE is, despite all of the advantages and improvements in the approach to COVID-19, it's still very, very important to do your very, very best to stay safe and try to avoid COVID-19 infection.

Image of Dr. Brian G.M. DurieProfessor of Medicine, Hematologist/Oncologist, and Honoree MD at the University of Brussels, Dr. Brian G.M. Durie is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Scientific Officer of the IMF. Dr. Durie is also the Chairman of the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG)—a consortium of more than 250 myeloma experts from around the world—and leads the IMF’s Black Swan Research Initiative® (BSRI). 


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