Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Mitochondrial Health

Ask the Mito Doc – Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Mitochondrial Disease

MitoCanada hosted a Coronavirus, (COVID-19) and Mitochondrial Disease “Ask the Mito Doc” webcast on Friday, April 3, 2020. Blaine Penny, CEO of MitoCanada was joined by Dr. Aneal Khan and Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky to answer questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on mitochondrial disease patients and families.

We would like to thank Dr. Khan and Dr. Tarnopolsky for taking the time to attend and answer questions for us during this extraordinary time.

TIME STAMPED QUESTIONS (questions as stated below have been modified to fit into YouTube’s description field)

0:04:05 – Dr. Aneal Khan introduction.

0:05:04 – How do we know the difference between the regular flu, seasonal allergies, and the coronavirus?

0:0622: – How does the coronavirus affect the lungs?

0:08:39 – A lot of people are asking about getting a pneumonia vaccine as a precautionary measure…what are your thoughts on that?

0:11:03 – If your child is prone to respiratory infections or pnemonias (aspiration) more at risk? Heightened risk for severe response from Covid?

0:13:19 – – We have a patient who has a mitochondrial myopathy and works in the health care system. The patient does not have direct contact with patients…. but coworkers do. How does this patient distinguish between symptoms of coronavirus or symptoms of a mito flare up?

0:15:30 – does the coronavirus put a mitochondrial disease patient at a higher risk, or does risk depend on the severity of the disease in the patient?

0:16:37 – My daughter (13) was just diagnosed with Kearns Sayre syndrome last week. She is not exhibiting a lot of symptoms at this point, except for with her eyes (ptosis, weakness in the muscles of her eyes, retinal pigmentosa). I am wondering if she’s as much as risk to covid-19 (and other things) as someone who’s exhibiting “more” symptoms, or seems “more” sick.

0:18:28 – some mitochondrial disease patients are taking mast cell stabilizers or large doses of antihistamines, can taking these medications make you more susceptible to contracting Covid-19 or make an infection to Covid-19 more severe because of these medications?

0:20:05 – We hear that children are less impacted by the coronavirus…..how does that affect children with mitochondrial disease?

0:21:52 – What about doctor visits?

0:24:47 – Just wondering if we “catch” COVID-19, if we give same protocol to ER physicians that we already have for instructions in times of sickness or is there additional information we need to be made aware of… Any medications or special treatments that will be needed for someone with a mitochondrial disease? Anything to avoid?

0:27:52 – Thank you to Dr. Khan

0:28:16 – Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky introduction.

0:30:00 – Many patients visit our ER’s… problems with fevers or feeds…. should they still go if they need to?

0:32:06 – For mitochondrial patients with compromised immune systems who have been placed in self isolation for their protection, how long do you expect that they will need to self isolate beyond the general public? How will they know when it is safe to go out again? Or will you do a webinar at that point to let us know… (obviously this may be a few months from now)

0:38:15 – Is it possible for someone doing IV therapy 2x weekly, increased anxiety during this time, increases their need for fluids?

0:38:40 – Having PSW/home care coming into the home.

0:41:16 – Many of us with mitochondrial disease have myopathy and use bipap machines, the idea of getting Covid is a real concern with compromised respiratory systems already. Is there anything that you would suggest to this group of patients if they were infected with Covid? Is there anything that they should do?

0:43:12 – Can we make our own masks?

0:47:35 – Steps to take if a patient was exposed or thinks they may have been exposed?

0:49:25 – Read recently there are test underway relevant to antibodies specifically Immunogloblin M and Immunogloblin G relevant to COVID prevention…can you explain in layman terms of this potential ?

0:52:57 – Do you think there will be a test that can determine you’ve been exposed or were asymptomatic?

0:56:00 – I have a child with AUTISM…and one of his stims is he touches his face…given the guidelines…how do we prevent that?

0:58:10 – What are you hearing about the uses of ibuprofen? Some say its not recommended for patients contracting the corona virus… some say Tylenol…if you can find it… what do you say?

0:59:30 – We’ve heard about several potential treatments for the coronavirus. Should those treatments and potential vaccines become available…what concerns should patients have about them?

1:03:19 – What about exercise… should that continue – and can it be vigorous?

1:05:37 – How important is the “mito cocktail” in case a mito patient ends up in intensive care for COVID-19? Especially with shortages on Drs, meds and supplies…should they increase dosages?


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