What Veterans With Mesothelioma Need to Know About Coronavirus
COVID-19 is a type of virus that emerged in late 2019. This highly contagious disease attacks the body’s respiratory system, causing flu-like symptoms and, in rare cases, severe health problems.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to stay informed about the disease and its dangers. This is especially true if you have mesothelioma, an incurable asbestos-caused cancer.
Veterans with mesothelioma may be at a higher risk because:
- Mesothelioma and other types of cancer weaken the body’s immune system. This makes it harder to fight off a coronavirus infection. Cancer treatments can also reduce immune system function.
- About 75% of mesothelioma cases affect the lining of the lungs and cause breathing problems. COVID-19 attacks the respiratory system and can make it even harder to breathe. The virus can also cause other lung diseases like pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
- Most mesothelioma patients are diagnosed in their early 70s, and the risk of severe coronavirus complications increases in seniors. In 2020, 81% of all coronavirus deaths in the U.S. were from those over the age of 65, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).