COVID-19 and mitochondrial disease

COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease transmitted by a type of coronavirus.

COVID-19 appears to cause a fever, dry cough and in some instances a subsequent severe lung inflammation and respiratory failure. Based on the limited information currently available, most of the reported fatalities have been in older people with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory conditions and/or compromised immune systems.

It would be reasonable, therefore, to assume that adults or children with mito with pre-existing medical conditions could be at increased risk of developing more severe symptoms, but the vast majority would still have only a mild illness. As such, these people may require heightened preventative measures and approaches tailored to their unique circumstances. For this reason, it is important for adults or children with mito to seek medical advice from a health professional that understands their medical history.

Many medical services are taking advantage of telemedicine technologies to maximise patient safety by reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The foundation strongly encourages all members of the mito community to take advantage of this technology where it is available.

There are no specific vaccines or treatments available at the moment, so the advice for adults and children with mito is to familiarise yourself with information about COVID-19 and closely monitor developments via the Australian Government Department of Health Coronavirus Health Alert website.

The foundation is increasing its support services at this time with full details available on the foundation’s new COVID-19 Information Portal available at this link.

More information on COVID-19 is available via the Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.  The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Specific medical questions should be directed to your healthcare professional.

Updated and current as at 17 April 2020

This statement has been adapted from the Lily Foundation’s statement with thanks and has been reviewed and approved by the medical members of the Mito Foundation Scientific & Medical Advisory Panel.