Dr Child's Covid Casebook
Every day while ensconced in the comfort of her virtual consulting room Dr Child encounters a new conundrum posed by a member of our Marfan community. Our Marfan Trust Helpline is more relevant than ever, and is operating seamlessly during this global pandemic, as Dr Child counsels everyone from worried Marfan sufferers working on the frontline to concerned parents of Marfan sufferers returning to school. Each case is unique yet universal and that is why we thought to share with you a story on a regular basis, made anonymous to protect the individual’s identity.
Q: Do you have any information on the probable impact of Covid-19 on an 11-year-old Marfan patient as opposed to an individual without any underlying health issues, please?
A: Marfan syndrome patients are at a slightly increased risk over the population, because Covid-19 attacks the lung, and the deficient protein in Marfan namely fibrillin-1, is an important elastic protein in the lung. Having said that, patients are only at high risk if they have already had lung disease, such as pneumonia or pneumothorax. They are also at high risk if they have heart failure with shortness of breath and swollen ankles. Otherwise, they are at only slightly increased risk.
In addition, children seem to handle the infection very well.
It is sensible to follow the government guidelines, but also if you are going out to work, to wash hands and face upon return before greeting the family, and remove any clothing that may have come in contact with desks, counters etc.