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COVID-19 poses a serious risk to bone marrow transplant recipients

Memphis, Tennessee, January 19, 2021

Researcher in glasses and blue shirt smiles at camera.

Akshay Sharma, MBBS, of St. Jude Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy, contributed to research that shows bone marrow transplant recipients are at an increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Physical distancing. Wearing a mask. Frequent hand washing. All are important ways to prevent COVID-19.

A new study suggests children and adults who receive bone marrow transplants should make prevention a priority.

Researchers studied 318 transplant recipients from around the world who developed COVID-19. These patients were more likely than the general public or cancer patients to develop severe COVID-19 and die. Even recipients whose transplants occurred more than one year earlier were at increased risk.

COVID-19 survival is 95–99% in the general population. It was about 68% among transplant recipients in this study.

“Transplant recipients should take the utmost precautions to avoid exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19,” said Akshay Sharma, MBBS, of St. Jude Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.

Lancet Haematology published a report on this study.

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