Long-term care facilities are taking steps to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. With guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, long-term care facilities are restricting visitors in most cases.
Cancer patients may be at a higher risk of infection and more severe symptoms, though temporarily, due to weakened immune system from cancer treatment. "However, we have very limited information at the present time," says Dr. Rafael Fonseca, a hematologist and interim executive director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.
"So there are two major factors that cause the aged immune system to be much more vulnerable to new threats, such as COVID-19," says Dr. Jessica Lancaster, a Mayo Clinic immunology researcher. "First, as we age, we start to produce less new immune cells that are able to respond to new sorts of infectious disease."