COVID-19 and IBD: What you need to know

March 19, 2020

Get expert recommendations for people affected by Crohn's or colitis. Learn about what COVID-19 is and the impact it has in Canada and globally, medications, strategies to maintain your mental health and wellness, and more. 

  • 0:08-3:06: Welcome Remarks from Crohn's and Colitis Canada

    • Welcome from Mina, CEO of Crohn's and Colitis Canada
    • How Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is supporting community
    • Introducing Scientific Medical Advisory Council and evening’s moderators Dr. Kaplan and Dr. Benchimol

    3:09-7:00: Webinar agenda 

    • Moderator’s introduction and outlining presentation content
    • Review of what will happen during the webinar
    • QR codes throughout the presentation to helpful links

    7:26-9:06: Defining Terms 

    • Review of terminology/defining novel viruses, coronaviruses and COVID-19

    9:06-11:15: Timeline of COVID-19

    • Review of the history to date of COVID-19

    11:15-12:35: COVID-19 World and Canada

    • Review of the virus throughout the world
    • A closer look at virus in Canada

    12:36-13:10: What does COVID-19 look like in people?

    • The effect the virus has on people
    • Breaking down how people might be affected

    13:24-14:52: Flu VS COVID-19

    • Looking at the differences between Flu and COVID-19

    14:52-16:46: Negative outcomes

    • Number of people who might experience a negative outcome for example needing the ICU or death
    • What is known about different age groups are impacted?

    16:46-19:50: Flattening the Curve and social distancing

    • Understanding the importance of flattening of the curve
    • Seeing how flattening the curve works

    19:50-21:09: IBD and COVID-19

    • What we know about how IBD patients are doing that have been diagnosed with COVID-19

    21:10-21:37: Risk factors

    • What are populations most at risk for COVID-19 and negative outcomes?

    21:43-22:28: Recommendations to date for patients

    • Context for understanding recommendations

    22:28-23:14: Travel

    • Discussing the recommendation around travel

    23:14-25:31: Social distancing and hand hygiene

    • Instructions for specific recommendations
    • Steps for good hand hygiene
    • Don’t touch your face

    25:31-26:23: COVID-19 and IBD medications

    • Review of IBD medications and impact of COVID-19
    • Do not stop taking your medications
    • Speak to physician before making any changes

    26:29-28:14: COVID-19 and NSAIDS

    • What is being said about NSAIDS being used with COVID-19

    28:14-29:59: Steroids

    • Do not stop steroids suddenly
    • Speak to physician before starting steriods

    30:03-31:35: Clinic visits and IBD testing

    • If you are well delay any clinic visits
    • Option for telemedicine
    • Testing might be delayed

    31:35-33:08: Testing for COVID-19

    • Review of testing procedure

    33:09-33:40: Conclusion of recommendations

    • Important reminder about the recommendations
    • Resources

    34:10-34:53: Introducing panel members

    • Welcome to the panelists: Dr. Barrett, Dr. Panaccione, Dr. Tripp, Dr. Targowinik
    • Start of Q&A period 

    34:54-38:15: Does IBD make COVID worse?

    • Reviewing the risk factors
    • Importance of staying on your medications

    38:15-42:25: Kids with IBD and COVID-19

    • Review what has been seen in children so far
    • New mums and new babies risk of COVID-19

    42:25-43:49: Dealing with anxiety around COVID-19 and kids

    • Tips for maintaining mental and physical wellness 
    • How parents can help with anxiety in kids

    43:57-49:09: I am bound to be infected, should I just get it over with now?

    • Why you shouldn’t just get it over with
    • Burden of high infection on the healthcare system
    • COVID-19 therapies

    49:09-52:35: Importance of flattening the curve

    • Importance of flattening the curve for IBD patients
    • Value of current public health measures

    52:36-58:50: What can I do to protect myself against COVID?

    • Importance of the role of social distancing and hand washing
    • What about masks?
    • Presence of virus in the stool

    58:50-1:07: IBD Medications and extra precautions?

    • Shouldn’t IBD patients be tested?
    • Risk groups within IBD
    • What about work? Getting to and from work?
    • Risk matrix and decision making

    1:07-1:14: Considerations for kids with IBD

    • Medications and kids
    • What about playing with friends?

    1:14-1:20: I was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID, should I be worried?

    • If you are having symptoms?
    • Reach out to public health
    • What about reduced self-isolation?

    1:20-1:22: A focus on NSAIDS

    • NSAIDS vs Tylenol
    • NSAIDS and IBD
    • Stay on your medications if any changes please talk to your gastroenterologist

    1:23-1:27: Are my IBD medications safe to take during a COVID pandemic?

    • Exploring the different medications and risks

    1:27-1:32: What about supplies of medication? Visiting infusion clinics?

    • Supply chains are good
    • What are happening with infusion clinics?

    1:32-1:36: Considerations for children with medication

    • Enteral nutrition

    1:36-1:39: I am feeling fine; can’t I just stop my medications until the pandemic blows over?

    • Risks of stopping medication: flares, steroids, hospitalizations, surgery

    1:39-1:43: Starting a new medication?

    • Need to start new medications and what is the best to start?

    1:43-1:48: I am extremely worried about COVID-19, what should I do?

    • Introducing the topic
    • This is stressful

    1:48-1:52: Be kind and understanding stress

    • Be kind to yourself in this moment
    • What does stress look like?

    1:52-1:58: Coping with stress

    • Coping with what is happening
    • Common coping strategies
    • Helping others

    1:58-2:02: Staying informed and getting help

    • How to stay well informed
    • Self-management tools
    • Getting professional help

    2:02-2:07: Closing remarks

    • Thanking you
    • What’s happening next
    • How to stay connected
  • 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. Laura Targownik, Associate Professor and Gastroenterologist, Associate Director of the IBD Research and Clinical Centre, Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Division of Gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital

    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

  • 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.