Advice Regarding Multiple Sclerosis (MS) & COVID for Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Patients
From Tanuja Chitnis, MD, Director, Mass General Brigham Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center, Mass General for Children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), which causes respiratory disease. This is a rapidly evolving situation and questions regarding the use of disease-modifying therapies during this outbreak are being raised.
To avoid COVID-19 infection:
- Wash hands with soap for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
- Sanitize high-touch surfaces
- Practice social distancing
- Avoid non-essential travel
The National MS Society’s National Medical Advisory Committee recommends the following:
- People with MS should follow CDC guidelines for people at risk for serious illnesses from COVID-19
- People with MS should continue disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) and discuss specific risks with their MS health care provider prior to stopping a DMT
- Before starting a cell depleting DMT or a DMT that carries warnings of a potential severe increase in disability after stopping, people with MS and their MS healthcare providers should consider specific risks (e.g. age, comorbid health conditions, location) and benefits
For more information see Additional guidelines from the National MS Society
If COVID-19 has been identified in your community:
- Consider staying home from school
- Explore options for online courses
- Avoid crowds, large events greater than 100 people
- Avoid people with cough, cold, or high fevers
- Avoid high-touch public areas (e.g. public transportation)
COVID-19 vaccinations for children and teens
COVID-19 vaccines have been FDA approved for children and teens who are 5-17 years old. We recommend that children with multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating disorders should be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine.
For more guidance, please visit the National MS Society’s website.