Prof. Marie Scully
University College Hospital, London
15th March 2020
As you all know, COVID19 has been heightened to a pandemic. There are continuous updates from Government and senior scientists and many changes are required within the NHS at this time. There may be regional variations but there have had to be significant and quick modifications within the healthcare system.
Advice should be followed to help prevent the spread of this new viral infection. It is thought most people will have flu like illness. The risk is greatest in those with pre-existing medical conditions and those heavily immunosuppressed.
TTP is an acute condition requiring long term follow up. There is no specific increased risk of TTP relapse because of the virus, assuming the ADAMST 13 activity levels are in a normal or steady range. However, if you feel unwell, please contact your local team.
Rituximab is a frequently given medication in acute TTP or to prevent relapses. It will reduce the ability of the body to form new antibodies but does not affect antibodies against infectious agents already formed.
Having received Rituximab, which is not a chemotherapy, there does not normally appear to be an excess risk of viral infections.
That does not mean you won’t get COVID19, but equally, the risk of it being mild, as in the majority of cases, or more severe, is likely to be equivalent to that of the general population.