By now, most of the worldwide community of WM patients and caregivers is well aware of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that originated in China and is spreading to other countries around the globe.
Since many affected by WM are immunocompromised, there is obvious concern, and until the medical community arrives at an optimal treatment for those affected by the virus, the best advice is to be cautious, be judicious about where and how you travel, and practice safe hygiene. At present, there is no global quarantine or call to wear masks at all times, but in certain countries and in regions within certain countries, these precautions may be in effect.
It is expected that, much like previous potential pandemics, a vaccine or effective treatment will be found. Until then, the best advice is to protect yourself much as you would against the flu or other viruses.
Also, on a related note, some may be concerned about any impact on the availability of IMBRUVICA (Ibrutinib), since much of it is manufactured outside of the U.S. The IWMF has contacted Pharmacyclics in this regard and a company representative explained that they are monitoring the situation closely and at this time do not expect any impact to their product supply.
The IWMF will remain vigilant with regard to obtaining the latest information about the coronavirus outbreak, how best to deal with the disease, and any impact it may have on the production of drugs used to treat WM. We will be sure to pass new information along to the worldwide WM community as soon as it is prudent.
In the meantime, here are links to further information about the coronavirus and how to improve your chances of minimizing its impact:
- WHO (World Health Organization) – advice for the public, protective measures, etc.
- US CDC (Centers for Disease Control) – information about, and ways to protect yourself against, the coronavirus.
- US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) – steps being taken to ensure the quality of foreign products.
The IWMF wishes to extend its concern and support to everyone around the world who is being affected by the disease outbreak, and our hope is for a speedy and effective resolution.