COVID-19 Outbreak: Advice for Patients with Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs) UPDATED 11 AUGUST 2021
Please look at the NHS website for the latest information and follow updates on the news and television.
Advice is changing frequently. Please make sure you are up to date.
The government’s general advice may be found here.
The Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPNs, including Essential Thrombocythaemia, Polycythaemia Vera and Myelofibrosis) are a group of blood cancers. The government has classified all patients with blood cancer (including MPN patients) as clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and have issued guidance to protect people, click here.
This guidance is for everyone in England who has been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable from coronavirus (COVID-19).
There is different guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people living in Scotland, living in Wales and living in Northern Ireland.
If you have received a letter from the NHS advising you that you are considered “at risk of severe illness” please follow the instructions you have been sent. This letter is provided by your GP or the NHS, not your hospital specialist. This letter will explain how you can have full access to government support services that MPN patients are entitled to. If patients have not received this notification, they should contact their GP surgery and/or hospital. We have collaborated to produce a letter explaining this, please click on the link below to download a copy.
We have provided recommendations at the outset of the pandemic. Data is now available to suggest some patients with MPN are at increased risk from COVID-19 largely relating to other underlying health states but in particular please be cautious if you are over 60, have additional risks, have a diagnosis of myelofibrosis, and do not stop taking your MPN medication (especially ruxolitinib) if you develop COVID-19.
Patients with myelofibrosis and those taking ruxolitinib have a weakened immune system and severe infections from other viruses have previously been reported in this patient group. These patients are therefore likely to be at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and should take the most stringent precautions. Do not suddenly stop your ruxolitinib or interrupt it without medical advice.
Please note that this represents the collective opinions of MPN clinicians; MPN is not a simple Blood Cancer. The situation may change rapidly please check for updates and if you are not certain discuss with your clinical team but bear in mind the pressures that they will be under.