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Here is My Question:
I am currently on Rituxan and was wondering if wearing a face mask is recommended when visiting a hospital (family member having surgery, not sick). What circumstances would you recommended patients wear a face mask, if at all?
I understand we are immunocompromised, but not in the typical way that we know it to mean (being on Rituxan). Would you be able to elaborate on this?People on rituximab, Ocrelizumab and other anti-CD20 agents do have a slightly increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections (URT) and perhaps pneumonia. The risk of URT infections is higher if you are older (over 50) and/or more disabled (limited mobility or wheelchair bound). It seems prudent to wear masks and/or avoid people with URT infections (e.g. hospital visits)during high activity flu seasons, such as this year, if you meet these criteria.
(Rip) Kinkel MD
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Clinical Neurosciences Director
University of California San Diego
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