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Has COVID-19 been worse for people with pleural mesothelioma?

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2022 | Mesothelioma

Unfortunately, yes. A recent study found that nearly 20% of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma at a hospital in Spain have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

A respiratory virus is never good for patients with compromised lungs, and COVID-19 is no exception. The mortality rate at that hospital among mesothelioma patients who contracted COVID-19 was 75%.

In other words, three out of every four pleural mesothelioma patients at that hospital died after contracting COVID-19. If those results are representative, they are very disheartening.

What was the study about?

This was a reasonably small study involving only 38 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. During the study period, seven of those patients were diagnosed with COVID-19, representing 18% of the pleural mesothelioma patients.

Of those seven patients who had COVID-19, two had been receiving oncological treatment (chemotherapy and radiotherapy). Three of the COVID-19 patients were asymptomatic. Four had symptoms, including fever and dyspnea. All in all, six of the patients were hospitalized for an average of 12 days. All seven of the patients received oxygen and four developed bilateral pneumonia.

In total, five of the 38 pleural mesothelioma patients died during the study period. Of those five, four had contracted COVID-19.

If you have pleural mesothelioma, take extra precautions against COVID-19

This was a small study at one hospital, so it might not reflect the overall experience of COVID-19. Still, it is an indicator that people with malignant pleural mesothelioma are likely to be at higher risk from COVID-19 infections.

Follow your doctor’s recommendations about whether you should be vaccinated. Otherwise, follow public health authorities’ advice for the pandemic in order to avoid unnecessary risk of exposure. For example, wear a high-quality face mask when you’re in indoor locations you can’t avoid. Wash your hands frequently. Maintain a distance of at least six feet from others.


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