Patients with cancer tolerate the coronavirus infection easier, says Alexander Rumyantsev, president of the Rogachev National Research Center of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Immunology, and the top visiting pediatric oncologist of the Russian Ministry of Health, APA reports citing TASS.
"Oncological patients who receive chemotherapy have a suppressive function. They do not develop a cytokine storm [a violent and potentially lethal reaction of human immune system that causes destruction of the inflamed tissue that tends to spread through the body], so they do not have this final stage of the coronavirus infection. In these patients, COVID-19 develops like an acute respiratory infection with all its consequences. This respiratory infection might be accompanied by complications that affect the bacterial flora, hence bacterial infections might appear, which are easily treated by antibiotics," Rumyantsev said.
Children with oncology have this suppressive function developed even stronger, so they do not display "outbursts" of the infection. "We [at the Rogachev center] had several patients, infected with the coronavirus, and they have been infected […] by parents, family members. No children died, nobody was in lethal, serious state," the specialist underscored.
He noted that the spread of the infection within the center was prevented thanks to security measures taken during patients’ admission. Notably, admission of children from all 85 regions never stopped.