Leukemia and Covid

September 28, 2020

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Anchor lead: Among those with cancer, Covid infection affects those with leukemia most, Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you have leukemia, you may be at high risk for severe Covid-19 disease, a recent study found. Yet William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says delaying your treatment is really not an option.

Nelson: The problem with leukemias is that they are very often highly aggressive diseases that have to be met with significant treatment quickly. There’s very little in the way to get around that. As agents that can treat the viral infection improve and the outcomes with leukemia and in the setting of this infection will likely improve as well. But this business of delaying some of these approaches, there is a significant worry that this will have longer term consequences.  :26

Nelson says that with regard to Covid-19 transmission, no studies have shown that people in hospitals and many other healthcare facilities are at greater risk of contracting the infection, and in point of fact, may be at reduced risk because of intensive infection control practices, so he urges people not to put off cancer treatment for this reason. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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