We understand and appreciate the severity of the new coronavirus epidemic (also known as COVID-19) that’s spreading globally. As advocacy organizations dedicated to serving the needs of lung cancer patients, all of us are closely monitoring the latest developments related to the outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, and the resulting disease, COVID-19.
This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are following updates provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which can be found here:
Facts about SARS-Cov-2/COVID-19
- This novel virus presents a unique threat to vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, including cancer patients. Early studies conducted on lung cancer patients undergoing surgery suggest that this virus readily infects the lungs and can potentially cause pneumonia, making lung cancer patients particularly susceptible.1
- Research suggests that the overall clinical consequences of COVID-19 may ultimately be similar to those of a severe seasonal influenza or a pandemic influenza.2
What you can do
- First and foremost, we encourage everyone to follow best practices for public health, such as staying home when ill, handwashing with soap and water (or using a hand sanitizer), and respiratory etiquette including covering the mouth and nose during sneezing and coughing.3 Many of the steps you would take to protect yourself from catching the flu also apply for protecting yourself against COVID-19.
- Regarding travel within the United States, at this time there are no restrictions on travel. However, the situation may change rapidly. We encourage all people to evaluate the need for non-essential travel and to take appropriate precautions if travel is required. Please check with your doctor before making international travel plans. Again, the CDC is maintaining a page that outlines current travel advisories: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
What you should not do
Do not read or share information about COVID-19 from websites that are not maintained by reputed public health organizations (for example, the CDC). When in doubt, check your facts with what’s posted on the CDC or WHO website.
Resources and websites
- You can find information specific to your state or city or town on your health department’s website.
- A list of state department of health websites can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html
- A list of local health department websites can be found here: https://www.naccho.org/membership/lhd-directory
- The American Medical Association is also maintaining a resource website for healthcare providers. You can find more information here: https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/covid-19-2019-novelcoronavirus-resource-center-physicians
- If you cannot avoid air travel, check out this handy article on “Dirtiest Places on Airplanes: How to Avoid Germs” https://time.com/4877041/dirtiest-places-on-airplanes/
- Tian S, Hu W, Niu L, Liu H, Xu H, S. X. Pulmonary pathology of early phase 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pneumonia in two patients with lung cancer. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. 2020.
- Fauci AS, Lane HC, Redfield RR. Covid-19 - Navigating the Uncharted. N Engl J Med. 2020. 3. Del Rio C, Malani PN. 2019 Novel Coronavirus-Important Information for Clinicians. JAMA. 2020.