COVID-19 and MS
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a potentially serious respiratory disease first reported overseas in late 2019 and then spread to the United States in early 2020. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the United States and presents a number of questions and concerns for those affected by multiple sclerosis (MS). As this rapidly changing situation evolves, MSAA strives to be a trusted source of information by offering resources that promote health and safety for the entire MS community. This collection of resources has been developed to provide answers, support, and assistance during these challenging times.
Included in this section:
- COVID-19 and MS Information
- News from MSAA
- COVID-19 and MS Study
- Community and MS Conversations Blog
- Additional Resources
- Free COVID-19 Tests and Masks
COVID-19 and MS Information
- What Kills the Virus?
- How is it Transmitted?
- Symptoms & Emergency Care
- Will I Get Seriously Ill from COVID-19?
- Vaccines, Treatments, and Testing
- COVID-19 Resources
Find answers on these topics and others in the COVID-19 and MS Information section.
News Articles from MSAA
Promoting Mental and Emotional Wellness During Difficult Times – The Motivator, Summer/Fall 2020 issue
Coping with the Emotional, Physical, and Mental Effects of a Pandemic – The Motivator, Winter/Spring 2020 issue
- COVID-19 and Other Pandemics
- Common Reactions to Disease Outbreaks and Social Isolation
- Strategies to Cope with Reactions to Disease Outbreaks and Social Isolation
- How Children Respond to an Infectious Disease Outbreak
March 6, 2020 (Updated March 25, 2020)
- Symptoms and Special Considerations for Individuals with MS
- How is the Coronavirus Spread?
- What to Do if Mildly Sick with the Coronavirus
- Staying Healthy and Minimizing the Spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Background and Overview
April 26, 2021
Topics: Recommendations for taking the FDA-approved vaccines and addressing questions around vaccine safety and effectiveness, timing disease-modifying therapies, and other vaccine-related topics.
January 25, 2021
Topics: Recommendations for taking the currently approved vaccines and addressing questions around vaccine safety and effectiveness, timing with infusion treatments, and other health concerns. Additionally, the program provides insights on following established safety measures, accessing medical care, and tips and strategies on improving physical and mental wellness during the ongoing pandemic.
October 19, 2020
Topics: Addressing many of the hot topics raised by the MS community including: risk factors for contracting the virus, questions surrounding disease-modifying therapies, concerns about the flu vaccine and pending COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, accessing medical care, planning for the holidays, and more.
August 17, 2020
Topics: Discussing the known and unknown facts around COVID-19, updates on vaccine development and timelines, medication impact, returning to work, and strategies to stay safe and improve physical and emotional wellness.
June 8, 2020
Topics: Risks associated with the virus; impact of MS medications; recommendations for accessing medical care; possible treatments or vaccines; physical and mental health strategies.
Thursday, May 14, 2020
MS expert neurologist Mitzi Williams, MD, provides viewers with the latest news about the coronavirus and explores the scope of COVID-19 health disparities among vulnerable populations; social, economic and health inequities that increase risk of COVID-19; and strategies to reduce risk and optimize health outcomes for vulnerable populations.
May 11, 2020
Topics: MS treatment and symptom management approaches; Safely accessing medical care and adhering to CDC guidelines; Updates on the development of treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus; Vitamin D and COVID-19; Maintaining physical and emotional wellness
April 27, 2020
Topics: Cytokine storm; Potential vaccine development; How temperature/warm weather affects COVID-19
April 13, 2020
Topics: Management of MS symptoms if diagnosed with COVID-19; An explanation of underlying health conditions and their relationship to the coronavirus
March 30, 2020
Topics: The need to stay on therapy while weighing risks of traveling; Information on medical/infusion centers; Suggestions on how to keep socially distant without becoming socially isolated
COVID-19 and MS Study
MSAA is partnering with embleema on a series of surveys to help evaluate how COVID-19 has affected members of the MS community. Please visit this page to learn more and register to receive an invitation to this study.
Community and MS Conversations Blog
- Join the discussion on the My MSAA Community online forum, including coronavirus-related topics, polls, and opinions.
- “A Message to Our MS Community” from MSAA’s President & CEO, Gina Ross Murdoch, about our continued commitment, business continuity, and how MSAA can help. From MSAA’s MS Conversations blog
MSAA’s toll-free Helpline provides assistance to members of the MS community Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM Eastern Time. To speak with a trained Client Services Specialist, please call MSAA’s Helpline at (800) 532-7667, extension 154. Questions to MSAA’s Client Services department may also be emailed to MSquestions@mymsaa.org.
- Combat Covid: a one-stop resource created by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Coronavirus and COVID-19: What You Should Know: WebMD
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Coronavirus.gov
- COVID-19 Educational Resources: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
(800) CDC-INFO or (800) 232-4636
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
(877) SAMHSA-7 or (877) 726-4727
Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Every home in the United States is eligible to receive four (4) COVID-19 tests free of charge. To order the tests, please visit covidtests.gov and enter your name and address. Anyone needing help to place an order for at-home tests may call (800) 232-0233 [TTY (888) 720-7489].
More than 400 million N95 masks are available for free to Americans nationwide at participating pharmacies, retail outlets, and community health centers. Consumers may check with their local pharmacy, retail store, or health center to see if free masks are available at that location. Three (3) free masks are being provided per person. For more information, including lists of participating pharmacies and retail stores, please visit Strategic National Stockpile Makes High-quality Masks Available to Americans (hhs.gov).