My dear patients !
I am not writing about top secret data here, which are only available for certain people. But I am writing about what is available under the link https://covidibd.org/updates-and-data for everyone. There you can read the (almost worldwide) numbers of patients with inflammatory bowel disease infected with COVID 19.
As you know I am a friend oft objective information. And I would include the numbers from the link to that. Yet I was not quite sure wether I should share it.
Because I recognized myself that you can have a – quite objective – look at the numbers and take notice of them. But what is of interest for you and for me is the question: what do these numbers tell me about my risk or the risk of my patients with inflammatory bowel disease of infection and even severe infection with COVID 19 ?
I look at the numbers every couple of days and always think: aren`t that many.
Which is true. In Germany we have more than 400.000 patients with inflammatory bowel disease, numbers in the US are even higher (> 1 Mio.).
And if you look at the number of COVID-19 positive patients with inflammatory bowel disease against this background – aren´t that many !
Of course there is a latency to the report of patients. Of course never all the patients find their way into the statistics. But that doesn`t change that much: there are not so many IBD patients with Crohn`s disease or ulcerative colitis infected with Corona virus
And I think numbers are representative since patients with inflammatory bowel disease belong to a group of patients who rather see doctors more frequently or at least on a frequent basis. Or have contact to doctors offices or outpatient clinics.
As for me…since March I have seen quite a few of my IBD patients. The ones I didn`t see I contacted by telephone (and continue doing that).
And even when I just signed a prescription my colleagues handing me the receipt to sign and said somerthing like: Mr X or Mrs y called, she needs a new prescription for …whatever. He or she is doing alright.
So I doubt that – at least on Germany – a patient with Crohn`s disease or ulcerative colitis gets sick without anybody from the medical team (doctor, IBD nurse) recognizing it.
And at that point you recognize that these numbers are interesting in a way , but that the conclusions we can draw are limited.
And still I thought it might be interesting for you and therefor wanted to share the link.
It is still valid: be carefull, stick to the general recommendations:
keep distance, wash your hands, wear a mask and if you are on immunosuppressive therapy wear a FFP2 mask and make sure, people you have contact with wear masks as well.
Which means: be carefull and take care of yourself ? – definetly yes ! Be afraid ? Absolutely no !
So again : take care !
Dr. Susanne Weyrauch
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