According to the CDC, one factor that makes a person more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 is the presence of an underlying medical condition. Because of weakened immune systems, cancer patients are among those at high risk of serious complications from a coronavirus infection. Mesothelioma, to be specific, is an extremely aggressive form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure and with limited survival despite systemic therapy. Fighting mesothelioma depletes a patient’s energy and nutrients, and this worsens a patient’s body’s ability to fight COVID-19. Mesothelioma treatments can also weaken a person’s immune system and increase the risk of COVID-19 complications. Further, COVID-19 is much more deadly in those individuals over the age of 65, and most mesothelioma patients are seniors. Most mesothelioma patients are seniors because, from the first asbestos exposure, it can take decades for an individual to be diagnosed with mesothelioma. If, for example, an individual gets exposed to asbestos for the first time at the age of 20, they might end up being diagnosed with mesothelioma even at the age of 70.
Recent studies have found that for every five patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) one contracted COVID-19. According to one particular study presented at the IASLC 2021 World Conference on Lung Cancer, approximately one in five patients with MPM at a Barcelona hospital contracted the coronavirus during the pandemic. To study the effect of COVID-19 infection on individuals with MPM, Dr. Susana Cedres of Vall d’ Hebron University Hospital and the Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain, analyzed medical records of 38 patients with MPM. Dr. Susana gathered clinical data such as comorbidities, oncological background, demographics, and COVID-19 illness status. Upon completion of the study, Dr. Cedres found that;
- Of the 38 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma at the institution in this pandemic era, seven (18%) were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection by a positive RT.PCR and
- The patients suffered a very high mortality rate of 54%. In total, four patients died due to COVID-19.
Are There Similarities Between Mesothelioma and COVID-19 Symptoms?
According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Fever or chills
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore through
- Loss of smell or taste
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Runny or congestion nose
Unlike COVID-19, mesothelioma symptoms may have a latency period of many years post asbestos exposure. Some of the common symptoms of mesothelioma may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Fluid build-up
- A high temperature and sweating, especially at night
- Persistent cough
- Chest pain
Therefore, as noted, mesothelioma and COVID-19 symptoms can be similar. However, it is crucial for an individual to contact a health provider if they develop any of the above symptoms before concluding that they have COVID-19 or mesothelioma.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.