COVID-19 FAQ #24: For myeloma patients, how important is it to wear a mask?
Dr. Brian G.M. Durie continues his segment on COVID-19 frequently asked questions. In this episode, he discusses if multiple myeloma patients still need to wear masks.
The BOTTOM LINE:
It is important to continue wearing masks. For additional protection, consider wearing goggles or glasses along with your mask.
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Videos in the COVID-19 Series
- FAQ #1: How can myeloma pts reduce the possibility of being exposed to the coronavirus?
- FAQ #2: What do myeloma patients need to know about COVID-19?
- FAQ #3: Do myeloma patients need to adjust their treatment?
- FAQ #4: What are some of the treatment modifications myeloma patients should consider?
- FAQ #5: What are the risk factors that could lead myeloma patients to develop serious consequences from the COVID-19 infection?
- FAQ #6: What precautions should myeloma patients take when getting their groceries?
- FAQ #7: Is it safe for myeloma patients to take walks?
- FAQ #8: Is physical distancing still recommended for myeloma patients?
- FAQ #9: Can myeloma patients avoid contracting the COVID-19 infection?
- FAQ #10: Should Myeloma patients undergo routine COVID-19 antibody testing?
- FAQ #11: Are MGUS and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) patients considered to be at higher risk for severe consequences from a COVID-19 infection?
- FAQ #12: If a myeloma patient takes Revlimid® (lenalidomide) as maintenance treatment, should this patient continue with that treatment during the pandemic?
- FAQ #13: Is it safe for myeloma patients to resume in-person doctors' visits?
- FAQ #14: Should myeloma patients undergo ASCT during the pandemic?
- FAQ #15: Is dexamethasone helpful against the COVID-19 infection?
- FAQ #16: Is it safe for myeloma patients to travel by airplane?
- FAQ #17: How high of a risk do asymptomatic carriers pose to myeloma patients?
- FAQ #18: Is Ninlaro® a safe treatment alternative for myeloma patients during the pandemic?
- FAQ #19: Should myeloma patients visit the dentist during the pandemic?
- FAQ #20: What is a bubble? And should myeloma patients exercise this practice?
- FAQ #21: How should myeloma patients conduct their follow-up appointments?
- FAQ #22: Have the safety recommendations changed for myeloma patients?
- FAQ #23: With the COVID-19 pandemic still a concern, what does the future hold for myeloma patients?
- FAQ #24: For myeloma patients, how important is it to wear a mask?
This week’s “Ask Dr. Durie” is an ongoing question which is: “How important are masks for myeloma patients?”
Well, I think the answer is pretty straight forward masks continue to be very, very, important. And the reason is that levels on COVID-19 infection in the community continue to be high. And so, it is still so important to protect yourself in the best way possible.
It’s especially important if you know when you go out into the community there are many individuals who are not wearing masks, because really that does increase your personal risk. And, in those kinds of circumstances, it’s important to try to get best masks possible. And over the passage of time, it is now possible to get those N95 masks. So, it is possible for patients to go online and get N95 masks. And so, if you can get N95 masks, I do think it is a good idea to get those, and, and wear them when you are going out and are concerned in public.
Additional things that you can do if you’re really concerned, and you might be exposed to people who maybe are not wearing masks, you can also get glasses or goggles to get maximum protection in your face area.
And so, the BOTTOM LINE right now is that as long as the community infections are high, you do continue to need to wear masks. Masks do provide you with great extra safety. They reduce the change of infection by at least fifty percent. So, very, very, important to continue to rely on masks, and to know that they are indeed helping you.
Dr. 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®.