**A press release shared with kind permission of our society partner, the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC)**
(Hackensack, NJ, April 2020) – The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society have joined forces to create COViMS, a new North American database to capture COVID-19 infections in people with MS and related diseases. This joint effort will capture information on outcomes of people with MS and other CNS demyelinating diseases (Neuromyelitis Optica, or MOG antibody disease) who have developed COVID-19.
“COViMS will provide valuable insight on how COVID-19 affects people with MS including if certain disease modifying treatments incur special risks,” said June Halper, CEO, CMSC.
There is tremendous unmet need to understand the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on the health and wellness of people living with MS. Up to now, there is no reporting system organized in North America to collect data that can track the outcomes and potentially inform treatment of people with MS infected with this coronavirus (or other similar future virus infections). The goal of the COViMS registry is to rapidly define the impact of COVID-19 on patients with MS and how factors such as age, comorbidities, and MS treatments impact COVID outcomes.
”People with MS and their healthcare providers need evidence based guidance to provide optimal MS care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the COViMS database will help answer the many pressing questions,” said Bruce Bebo, Executive Vice-President of Research for the National MS Society.
Health care providers taking care of patients with MS and documented COVID-19 are encouraged to complete a Case Report Form (CRF) on the COViMS website (covims.org). The COViMS website also has FAQs, a sample CRF, resources and will provide real time data once registry participation is underway.
To obtain additional information about this joint effort or to report a case of COVID-19, please visit www.covims.org.
Contact: Annie Scully, 201-310-9252, firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT CONSORTIUM OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS CENTERS (CMSC)
The CMSC includes a professional network of 13,500 healthcare clinicians and scientists worldwide. Its membership represents the full spectrum of MS healthcare professionals: physicians, nursing professionals, advanced practice clinicians, pharmacists, rehabilitation and mental health professionals, researchers, and patient advocates. The work of the CMSC directly influences the quality of care for hundreds of thousands of people living with MS. For more information visit: www.mscare.org
ABOUT MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.