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World J Gastroenterol ; 26(37): 5534-5542, 2020 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-886833


The first cases of a novel corona virus infection were reported in Wuhan China in December of 2019, followed by the declaration of an international pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. Early reports of the virus, now known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and its clinical disease coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has shown higher rates of morbidity and mortality in the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions. Of particular concern is the safety of those with compromised immune systems. Inflammatory Bowel disease (IBD) is itself caused by a disordered immune response, with the most effective medical therapies being immune suppressing or modifying. As such, the risk of COVID-19, virus related outcomes, and appropriate management of IBD patients during the global pandemic is of immediate concern to gastroenterologists worldwide. There has been a rapid accumulation of clinical data and expert opinion on the topic. This review will highlight the latest source information on clinical observation/outcomes of the IBD population and provide a concise summary of the most up to date perspectives on IBD management in the age of COVID-19.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/complications , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/etiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Global Health , Humans , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors
Antibodies (Basel) ; 9(3)2020 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-717697


The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) population, which may require treatment with immunosuppressive medications, may be uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. In fact, there is some evidence these medications may inhibit the cytokine storm that is theorized to cause a rapid decline seen in COVID-19. In addition, the digestive symptoms of COVID-19 can be difficult to distinguish from the activation of IBD. We present an interesting case of a Crohn's patient inadvertently administering anti-cytokine therapy during the pre-symptomatic period of COVID-19 infection. Immune suppression during early infection with SARS-COV2 risks a poor immune response to the virus and could theoretically result in a more severe course of infection.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 18(8): 1673-1681, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-102150


The COVID-19 pandemic seemingly is peaking now in New York City and has triggered significant changes to the standard management of gastrointestinal diseases. Priorities such as minimizing viral transmission, preserving personal protective equipment, and freeing hospital beds have driven unconventional approaches to managing gastroenterology (GI) patients. Conversion of endoscopy units to COVID units and redeployment of GI fellows and faculty has profoundly changed the profile of most GI services. Meanwhile, consult and procedural volumes have been reduced drastically. In this review, we share our collective experiences regarding how we have changed our practice of medicine in response to the COVID surge. Although we review our management of specific consults and conditions, the overarching theme focuses primarily on noninvasive measures and maximizing medical therapies. Endoscopic procedures have been reserved for those timely interventions that are most likely to be therapeutic. The role of multidisciplinary discussion, although always important, now has become critical. The support of our faculty and trainees remains essential. Local leadership can encourage well-being by frequent team check-ins and by fostering trainee development through remote learning. Advancing a clear vision and a transparent process for how to organize and triage care in the recovery phase will allow for a smooth transition to our new normal.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Disease Management , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Gastroenterology/methods , Gastroenterology/organization & administration , Infection Control/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics