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COVID-19 risk group?

Many parents of children with cancer are currently unsettled and are wondering whether their child belongs to the risk group for a severe course of the disease in the current coronavirus pandemic. Many children suffer from a weakened immune system due to cancer treatment. This applies, for example, to children who are currently receiving intensive cancer therapy or who have just gone through a stem cell transplant.

As a result, they may be less able to fight off an infection than healthy children. It is not yet clear how severe the COVID-19 disease could be in these children. Experiences from other countries, such as Italy in particular, in over 700 children and adolescents with cancer would seem to indicate that these children in fact do not develop serious complications.

Information on the new coronavirus for parents and relatives of hospitalised children can be found on the websites of the respective treatment centres, such as the University Children’s Hospital Basel. For children and adolescents with so-called “risk factors”, the novel coronavirus could possibly pose a higher risk. You can protect yourself and your child by following the rules of conduct recommended by the Federal Office of Public Health.

Important note: If you are unsure or have further questions about precautions in connection with COVID-19 (e.g. in patients under immunosuppression), please contact the doctor treating your child.

At present, there is hardly any information available specifically on coronavirus in childhood cancer. However, you will find helpful links for cancer patients and their relatives here:

https://www.krebsinformationsdienst.de/leben/alltag/coronavirus-krebs-haeufige-fragen.php

https://www.krebshilfe.de/blog/was-krebspatienten-zum-coronavirus-wissen-muessen/

https://www.dgho.de/publikationen/stellungnahmen/gute-aerztliche-praxis/coronavirus/covid-19-krebspatienten-20200318.pdf