COVID-19: Risk Factors and Live Q&A

April 2, 2020

Get updated recommendations for people living with Crohn's or Colitis. Learn about your level of risk, and how to maintain your mental and physical health. Expert panel members answer questions from audience members live.

  • 0:00-3:39: Overview of event

    • Reviewing webinar format and addressing common technical issues

    3:39-7:53: Welcome Remarks and Updates from Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

    • Welcome from President and CEO
    • AbbVie IBD Scholarship 
    • Gutsy Walk 
    • Introducing COVID-19 IBD Task Force members

    7:54-10:52: Agenda for presentation

    • Overview of what will be covered during webinar
    • Reminder about the ongoing changes when it comes to COVID-19
    10:54-11:55: Reviewing Terminology
    • Important terms to know related to COVID-19
    11:56-14:18: A Lesson from History and the 1918 Flu Pandemic
    • Looking at the history around what happened 
    • What different cities did?
    • What does the 1918 Flu pandemic tells us about the end of physical distancing now and what to expect in the future?
    14:19-18:24: The spread and impact of COVID-19 in World and Canada
    • Global review of cases 
    • Looking at global trends
    • Canada-cases, recoveries and deaths

    18:25-21:02: How COVID-19 is affecting Canadians

    • Look at how population has been affected by age group
    • Outcomes and disease severity broken down by age group

    21:04-26:23: Physical Distancing and it’s impact

    • Why this is so critical 
    • Flattening the curve and its benefits
    • Looking at how many can be impacted by one person with COVID-19
    26:24-28:36: How Are We Doing?
    • Looking at doubling time
    • The difference between 5 days and 7 days
    • Be the stationary dot!

    28:37-30:07: Updates to recommendations

    • Reminder of definitions 

    30:08-35:38: Recommendations for IBD Patients and Risk Factors

    • Reviewing low, medium and high-risk groups and precautions updated
    • What about healthcare workers?
    • Family members of high-risk people with IBD

    35:38-36:44: Reminder IBD Medications 

    • Continue to take IBD medications
    • Steroids

    36:45-37:00: Reminder about changing information

    • Information about COVID-19 and IBD can change quickly
    • Guidelines are not a replacement for recommendations made by your doctor or local public health

    37:01-38:10: Introducing evening’s panelists

    • Dr. Lisa Barett, Division of Infectious Diseases at Dalhousie University
    • Dr. Anne Griffiths, Professor and Director of the IBD Centre, SickKids Hospital, University of Toronto
    • Dr. John Marshall, Division of Gastroenterology at McMaster University
    • Dr. Remo Panaccione, Department of Medicine at University of Calgary
    • Dr. Dean Tripp, Department of Psychology at Queen’s University 

    38:10-43:40: Any updates on COVID-19 Treatment?

    • No currently approved therapies for COVID-19 in Canada or the world
    • There are therapies to support people through the illness
    • Lots of different things being tried including immunomodulators 

    43:41-44:58: JAK inhibitors, COVID-19 and IBD

    • Since being looked at does this mean patients on JAK inhibitors are safer?
    • Timing matters with these medications and COVID-19

    45:00-47:11: What about patients on biologics diagnosed with COVID-19? Is the prognosis worse?

    • What the evidence is at this time about whether or not will have a more severe course
    • More information coming in from the SECURE-IBD registry
    • If you are diagnosed talk to gastroenterologist

    47:42-52:50: What is known about children on biologics and COVID-19 Diagnosis

    • For children illness seems to be mild cases 
    • Tracking the number of children and teens who have IBD and diagnosed with COVID-19

    52:50-54:48: Risk factors and other information about IBD patients in Wuhan

    • The role of age and other risk factors 
    • Information shared about IBD patients in one community in Wuhan

    54:59-58:50: What can frontline health workers on immunomodulators do?

    • Looking at the different levels of risk and exposure 
    • Discuss with employer and physician 
    • Some of what is happening in one health system 

    58:50-1:01:37: Healthcare workers balancing profession and personal safety 

    • Variety of responses from people
    • Gage risk and confidence can produce behaviours to keep you safe promotes proactive behaviour 
    • Sense of control

    1:01:37-1:05:07: COVID-19 and vaccines 

    • Flu and pneumonia vaccines can help protect against co-infections
    • Development of COVID-19 vaccine happening but will have considerations when it is a live vaccine or not

    1:05-1:07:17: Getting vaccinated for Flu and Pneumonia

    • Get vaccinated 
    • Timing for vaccinations

    1:07:17-1:13:05: Infusion Clinic Safety

    • What is happening now
    • Practices for patients to staff
    • What about children and infusion clinics
    • Infusion clinics are working closely with provincial health

    1:13:05-1:16:52: What about worry?

    • There are a range of responses to crisis 
    • We are all under stress and shows up in different ways

    1:16:52-1:20:32: How to communicate the importance to people who may not be receptive?

    • Simple message-continue to repeat message in the way that your afraid of it
    • Sometimes people need to hear more than others, think of a scale and sometimes need more weight to tip in the direction
    • Remember why we are doing what we are doing-it is for others

    1:20:32-1:22:03: Questions from healthcare workers about delaying IBD medications 

    • Don’t stop medications

    1:22:03-1:26:14: What about asymptomatic people spreading this disease?

    • What the current thoughts are around virus being spread before symptoms
    • Following advice around physical distancing, covering cough and not touching your face

    1:26:15-1:28:34: Changes in Alberta around Humira

    • Changes to Humira prescribing moving to the top tier
    • Value of advocacy
    • Governments are trying to accommodate to address challenges presented during this pandemic

    1:28:34-1:33: 33: Important things to remember 

    • Even with changes to health care don’t be afraid to access it
    • Reminder why we are doing what we are doing
    • Take care of physical and mental health
    • Keep practicing recommendations!
    • Importance of IBD nurses

    1:33:33-1:38:36: Thank you and concluding comments

    • Thank you to panelists, CCC staff, volunteers
    • Importance of donating to help support work
  • Moderators:

    Dr. Eric Benchimol (MD, PhD, FRCPC), Associate Professor and Gastroenterologist, Department of Pediatrics and School of Epidemology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, Division of Gastroenterology​ at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)

    Dr. Gilaad Kaplan (MD, MPH, FRCPC), Associate Professor and Gastroenterologist, Director of the Environmental Health Research Group, Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases and Institute of Public Health, Departments of Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary Twitter: @gilkaplan 

    Panel Members:

    Dr. Remo Panaccione (MD, FRCPC), Associate Professor and Gastroenterologist, Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic, Department of Medicine at the University of Calgary 

    Dr. Dean Tripp (C.Pscyh, PhD.) Professor and Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychology at Queens University, Kingston Health Sciences Centre

    Dr. Lisa Barrett (MD, PhD., FRCPC), Assistant Professor and Clinician Scientist, Nova Scotia Health Authority, Divisions of Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Immunology at Dalhousie University

    Dr. Anne Griffiths (MD, FRCPC), Professor and Director of the IBD Centre, SickKids Hospital, University of Toronto

    Dr. John Marshall (MD MSc FRCPC AGAF), Professor, Director of the Division of Gastroenterology at McMaster University


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  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

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