We keep getting asked about if there is any data on whether or not people with MS are more likely to get COVID-19 if they do get are they more likely to get the severe disease and die from the infection?
Last week I logged into a very useful webinar organised by the iWiMS. They have now put the webinar online for you to watch.
The Italian registry reported 143 patients with MS and COVID-19 with five deaths. As you can from the table below the five patients who died from COVID-19 had more advanced or progressive MS and were all over the age of 50. Only two were on DMTs; one on rituximab and the other on dimethyl fumarate. Importantly the observation that to date only a 143 patients with MS had developed COVID-19 suggests that pwMS are not at increased risk of COVID-19. Please be aware that these figures may be biased in terms of reporting. On the webinar the Spanish, French, Australians, Germans and Americans discussed their cases as well.
The messages I took away from the webinar were reassuring and in line with my expectations. People with MS don’t seem to more susceptible to COVID-19 than the general population, nor are they more likely to get severe COVID-19 and die from complications than the general population. Similar to the general population age is an important risk factor when it comes to COVID-19 mortality in pwMS.