The Coronavirus 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 Pathfinder Online Tool
- News from MSAA
- COVID-19 and MS Study
- Community and MS Conversations Blog
- Additional Resources
COVID-19 and MS Pathfinder
MSAA, in partnership with Wondros, has launched an innovative and informative online tool to navigate through the many issues associated with the ongoing pandemic. The COVID-19 and MS Pathfinder is designed to enable easy access to your most pressing questions, including:
- What are the facts about COVID-19?
- What if I need to stay at home?
- How do I get what I need?
- How do I stay safe?
- How do I stay healthy?
This free online tool is presented in a unique and user-friendly format, allowing for easy navigation to access the various topics, while featuring clear and concise explanations of what to be aware of, how to prepare, and whom to contact to ensure your safety and well-being. Find answers on these topics and others in the COVID-19 and MS Pathfinder.
News Articles from MSAA
Promoting Mental and Emotional Wellness During Difficult Times – The Motivator, Summer/Fall 2020 issue
- Depression in MS and Types of Depression
- Anxiety in MS: Frequently Overlooked and Undetected
- Purpose in Life and its Impact on Mental and Physical Health
- The Effects of the Pandemic on Individuals with MS
- Dr. Adam Kaplin’s ABC’s for Good Mental and Emotional Health
- Important Resources
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
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 Thursday, between the special extended hours of 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM Eastern Time; and Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Eastern. 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.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- Coronavirus and COVID-19: What You Should Know: WebMD
- Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Coronavirus.gov
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