What Malignant Mesothelioma and COVID-19 Have in Common

If you have a known exposure to asbestos, whether from the workplace, exposure to a family member who worked with the substance, or some other source, you have long been aware of your risk for malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related diseases. As if those fears were not stressful enough, those same individuals are now concerned that they are at greater risk for being infected with the COVID-19 virus.

 Exposure to Asbestos Increases Risk for Mesothelioma and Other Diseases

Though there is no direct connection between asbestos exposure and the coronavirus, it is undeniable that mesothelioma patients and others with asbestos-related diseases are at much greater risk for serious repercussions from the illness. The list of those who are most vulnerable to dying from COVID-19 includes the elderly, anybody who has pre-existing conditions and those who are immunocompromised.

Victims of asbestos exposure frequently suffer significant lung damage which would put them at particular risk for pneumonia and the other respiratory distress syndromes that are common in COVID-19 patients. This population also skews to the elderly demographic as a result of the common use of the carcinogenic material decades ago.  Many of them are smokers or ex-smokers, and most are males.

COVID-19 Leading to Decrease in Mesothelioma Screening and Treatment as well as Litigation

Perhaps most worrying of all is the fact that the need for social distancing and the stress that has been put on the American health system has led to far fewer screening tests being conducted on those at risk for malignant mesothelioma. Additionally, the treatments being offered to prolong the lives of mesothelioma patients and improve the quality of their lives have been delayed out of fear of transmission of the virus.

As mesothelioma patients become less likely to go to cancer centers for treatments and tests, there is a likelihood that during this unfortunate period of time, the survival period for mesothelioma will decrease. There are also likely to be fewer claims filed by those eligible to pursue legal actions against asbestos companies as people delay contacting attorneys, and potentially allow the statute of limitations to expire.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you are concerned about the risk of COVID-19, you need information. Contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608 for assistance.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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