The coronavirus pandemic is instilling fear in the lives of different groups of people around the world. Among these are people with mesothelioma who are fearful about what it could mean for their health.
The rate at which infections with the COVID-19 virus has been increasing is alarming, especially in the United States.
As of March 13, there were about 1,600 cases in America, which seemed like a lot at the time. The total figure has since crossed the one-million mark, with over 50,000 people dead due to the virus.
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On the evidence of what the coronavirus is doing, it is understandable for people with mesothelioma to be concerned. This is considering the state of their immune systems and health.
The pandemic has also led to the indefinite postponement of an annual symposium by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. This major event for mesothelioma patients and caregivers was earlier scheduled to hold April 6 to 7 in San Antonio.
Why Coronavirus is A Major Threat to Mesothelioma Patients
SAR-CoV-2 – official name for the COVID-19 virus – mainly produces respiratory symptoms and effects. It constitutes a greater threat to people who have lung-related disorders, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Mesothelioma falls among such conditions. A form known as pleural mesothelioma typically starts in the pleura, the lung’s protective lining. The cancer type may then spread to other regions of the lungs and the thorax.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common variant of this cancer type.
Issues with the lungs, therefore, make patients more vulnerable to the coronavirus. The immune systems of these people that tend to be weaker further leave them more exposed to complications from the virus.
Elderly patients with this cancer type are at an even greater risk. These also happen to make a significant proportion of people having the disorder. Mesothelioma more commonly shows up in older years because it can take many years for it to develop fully.
Older patients tend to die quicker from the disorder, compared to their younger counterparts. They usually have more weakened immune systems.
The CDC says the elderly have a two times greater risk of having severe coronavirus infection.
Comparing Mesothelioma and Coronavirus
Both coronavirus and mesothelioma have certain things in common. The first is that they both relate to the lungs. Another is that they can affect anyone, although the elderly may be at greater risk from them.
As a result of the fact that these disorders affect the lungs, they have certain symptoms in common. These include:
- Sore throat
- Breathing difficulty
- Shortness of breath
The similarity suggests that the intensity of these symptoms can become greater when both conditions are present.
However, mesothelioma is not contagious while the coronavirus is. You are more likely to get the former from exposure to asbestos. But you can contract the virus through particle emissions from someone who has it when they sneeze or cough.
The COVID-19 virus in droplets can find its way into the body through the nose or mouth.
The threat that coronavirus poses to people with mesothelioma means there is a need for them to be more cautious. Below are some tips to help such persons to protect their health better.
Wash your hands regularly – Health authorities have been advising that people wash their hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or more. Mesothelioma patients should pay more attention to this advice. Wash your hands every time you touch objects others have touched, after going to the bathroom, and before you eat.
Use hand-sanitizer – If you are a patient, consider getting a hand-sanitizer with 60 percent, or more, alcohol content. This will be handy after touching surfaces accessible by everyone and you do not have access to soap and water.
Avoid large crowds – Some people who have the COVID-19 virus are asymptomatic – that is, they do not show symptoms. This means you have to be extra cautious of places with many people.
Clean surfaces regularly – Endeavor to clean and disinfect surfaces that people commonly touch in and around your home. These include doorknobs, countertops, desks, and computers. You should not forget the bathrooms as well.
Avoiding touching your face – Since you might touch surfaces having the virus without knowing, it is important to avoid touching your facial areas. These include your eyes, nose, and mouth.
In addition to the foregoing, consider keeping away from people who are sick or where such may be.
Cough or sneeze into your elbow or tissue paper and wash your hands at once afterward. If you think your symptoms might be related to the coronavirus, stay away from others, and contact your doctor immediately.
How the Coronavirus Affects People With Mesothelioma | Mesothelioma Guide (https://www.mesotheliomaguide.com/community/coronavirus-affect-on-mesothelioma-covid19/)
Coronavirus: What Mesothelioma Cancer Patients Should Know (https://www.asbestos.com/blog/2020/03/06/mesothelioma-coronavirus-information/)