We are following the COVID-19 situation closely. Currently, we do not have enough information to advise you specifically about the risks of more severe infection in patients with MS who are on specific MS therapies, but we are in constant communication with our extensive network of physician colleagues around the world to gather as much information as we can quickly. When reliable information becomes available, we will post it here. In the interim, please find the most up-to-date information available below:
- We are generally recommending that many of our patients remain on their immune suppressing therapies for MS and the neuroinflammatory diseases we treat, but please speak with your neurologist about your particular situation to weigh the risks and benefits. Additional precautions for patients on immunosuppressive medications to avoid infection/exposure are reasonable and we will support you however we can in enhancing your capacity to stay safe.
- If you develop fever, cough, loss of smell, loss of taste or other concerning symptoms or have exposure to someone with known COVID-19 infection please alert your primary care provider as well as our clinic ASAP so that your clinician can provide you any additional feedback (including whether or not you should stop our delay your MS treatment). If you have difficulty reaching our clinic or your provider please feel free to reach out to our administrative manager Vanessa Valera (415) 353-4607 or Patient Navigator Yumi Kimura at (415) 502-3676.
- We plan to announce upcoming “Town Halls” that our patients can attend virtually so that we can communicate in a group format the latest information we have and answer questions for you.
- For the most updated UCSF information on COVID-19 for patients, including what to do if you are concerned that you may be infected: https://coronavirus.ucsf.edu/patients
- For the most updated National MS Society position on COVID-19: https://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-you-need-to-know-about-Coronavirus-(COVID-19)
- We urge you to follow strict hygiene guidelines, as well as state-wide mandates regarding shelter in place and maintain strict physical distancing: https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/02/416751/coronavirus-spreads-experts-explain-when-call-doctor-how-testing-works-and-more
How will this impact your clinical care?
- Currently, based on UCSF Medical Center guidance, we have moved as many visits as appropriate medically to telemedicine or telephone in order to protect our patients and staff from possible infection. We aim to continue to care for all of our patients during this difficult time and thank you for your patience as our staff work quickly to accommodate this.
- We also request that you sign up for MyChart, if you have not yet, so that you are able to communicate efficiently with your care team: https://www.ucsfhealth.org/mychart
- We recognize that this is a stressful time, especially for people with health conditions like MS and other neuroinflammatory diseases that can require immunosuppressing drugs. There are national (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html) and local (https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/03/416836/feeling-anxiety-about-coronavirus-psychologist-offers-tips-stay-clearheaded) sources of information about stress management tips and techniques.
- If you have difficulty reaching our clinic or your provider please feel free to reach out to our administrative manager Vanessa Valera (415) 353-4607 or Patient Navigator Yumi Kimura at (415) 502-3676.
We wish you well during this difficult time and remain committed to your care.
Your MS and Neuroinflammation Center Providers