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COVID-19 Recommendations for the ALS Community

March 13, 2020  -  Aditi Narayan Minkoff

If you or someone you know has ALS and is currently experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider immediately. 

With the recent assignation of COVID-19 as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, we are sharing pertinent information with the ALS community to understand the risks and impact of SARS-CoV2. Please note that per the CDC, this is a rapidly evolving situation, and the CDC will continue to share updates daily.

While there is currently no evidence to show that patients with ALS are uniquely sensitive to the virus, individuals with respiratory health issues, chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease, and those who are elderly may be at a higher risk for experiencing COVID-19 severely.

Prevention & Management: 

In addition to following the CDC and Muscular Dystrophy Association’s recommendations for the prevention and management of COVID-19, we recommend asking your ALS clinic care team whether they recommend an in person or tele-visit. You may also find the Les Turner ALS Foundation’s care recommendations for respiratory issues helpful.

Information Related to Clinical Trials:

If you are currently participating in a clinical trial, contact your trial care team to determine if there are any changes to protocol or timeline.

In an Emergency Situation:

If you are in need of assistance from an emergency medical technician (EMT) please reference this document for helpful information to provide to them and emergency room staff regarding additional precautions to take when caring for ALS patients.

The CDC and other health professionals are learning more about COVID-19 every day. While the possibility of contracting a contagious disease is scary, it is important to stay calm and follow recommended prevention and management strategies. Please continue to check the CDC’s website for the most up to date information about COVID-19 in the US.

Approved by:

Merit Cudkowicz, MD, Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS

Jonathan Glass, MD, Emory ALS Center

Richard Bedlack, MD, Duke ALS Clinic

Robert Bowser, PhD, Gregory W. Fulton ALS Center

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