#MSCOVID19: update on the outcome of cases with MS & COVID-19

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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.

CoI: multiple

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

25 comments

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply

  • Thank you Doctor. How about vaccine down the road, or should I just give up and assume I’m going to get covid sooner or later? (62 yrs, MS 30 yrs, SPMS, EDSS 2-4)

  • Thanks Prof G,
    The comorbidities of diabetes and heart disease seem to be high risk factors too for Covid-19 mortality. This is suggested too, from the five MS patients you highlight.

    Those with diabetes seem to be more at risk of severe outcomes from Covid-19, or an increased risk of contracting Covid-19, or both.

    • I don’t see how this can be biased. Rather, we can say that this is anecdotal evidence, i.e. a sample too small to draw any scientific conclusion.
      But with where we are today, anecdotal is better than nothing and is reassuring that there is no strong correlation between DMTs and bad outcomes.

  • I know it’s only n = 5 but one of the patients was:
    Female
    Only 54 (a good 10 years younger than the rest)
    Had no comorbidities.

    And not sure I’d call EDSS 7.0 terribly advanced? Definitely not 6.5. Just sayin’

    Comforting to know pwMS did much the same as general population. Thanks for post.

  • As ever, those who have been pre-poisoned by tobacco or diet (obesity/diabetes) are suffering the most. Worryingly, 63% of New Yorkers are overweight and obese.
    Is it time for firmer regulation of agribusiness and retail? Can society afford he population to be eating as we do?

  • In the news it is recommend that people showing Covid-19 symptoms should isolate from their pets, as pets can get infected.

  • Thanks for the data! I am Italian and a SPSM carrier. It would have been interesting, I think, to know what level of vitamin D they had in their blood. Unfortunately, this is poorly done research in MS patients.

    • Agree. I spent many years in graduate school studying statistics. A study MUST have 30 subjects to have any validity at all. Five subjects is simply not enough persons to prove anything at all.
      I may have MS but I have not forgotten what I learned. Please remember this.

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