Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy & Behavior
Objective: The aim of the current study was to investigate the rates of contracting COVID-19 in various populations to provide evidence on the susceptibility of patients with epilepsy (PWE) to contracting symptomatic COVID-19.
Methods: We surveyed a random sample of three groups of people: patients with epilepsy, people with psychiatric problems, and a group of the general population. The survey included four general questions (age, sex, education, and medical/psychiatric problem) and four COVID-19 specific questions (contracting COVID-19, relatives with COVID-19, wearing a face mask, and frequent hand washings).
Results: Three hundred and fifty-eight people were surveyed (108 healthy individuals, 154 patients with epilepsy, and 96 patients with psychiatric problems). Thirty-eight (11%) people had a history of COVID-19 contraction. The only factor that had a significant association with COVID-19 contraction was a relative with COVID-19 (Odds Ratio: 5.82; 95% Confidence Interval: 2.85-11.86; p = 0.0001). Having epilepsy did not increase the risk of COVID-19 contraction.
Conclusion: Symptomatic COVID-19 does not seem to be more likely in PWE. The single most important factor associated with contracting COVID-19 is a close relative with this infection. Isolation of people with SARS-CoV-2 infection and observation of their close contacts may reduce the risk of secondary infections.