November 17, 2020

We have prepared a COVID-19 Health Precaution education guide outlining what you need to know about returning to school or work if you are taking immune suppression medications or have a neurological disorder that can lower respiratory capacity.


April 21, 2020

We have prepared a COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. The recommendations apply to numerous mitochondrial disorders, and are general in nature. These recommendations are designed primarily for patients, and caregivers, but do not replace the advice of your physicians. We recommend that all mitochondrial disease patients and caregivers consult with their health care provider for any question relating to the health and wellbeing of a mitochondrial disease patient.

Please note that this is a changing situation, and that information from the experts is being updated on a daily basis. Please refer to your physician and public health authority for the latest updates.


April 3, 2020

MitoCanada hosted a Coronavirus, (COVID-19) and Mitochondrial Disease “Ask the Mito Doc” webcast on Friday, April 3, 2020. Blaine Penny, CEO of MitoCanada was joined by Dr. Aneal Khan and Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky to answer questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on mitochondrial disease patients and families. 



March 23, 2020

As we work as a society to ‘bend the curve’ of COVID-19, there are persons in who have more vulnerability to this virus. Persons living with mitochondrial disease and their immediate family would be considered in the ‘high risk’ group due to compromised immune systems and medical fragility.

MitoCanada Foundation has put together a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Patient and Caregiver Readiness Checklist to support you during this time. As always, follow the specific recommendations of your municipal/provincial health authorities and the Public Health Agency of Canada.


March 21, 2020

If you are looking for Coronavirus (COVID-19) information, we have posted a province-by-province breakdown of who to call if you think you might have COVID-19. Click here to access list.


March 17, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update on MitoCanada services and recommendations to patients and caregivers

With the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), many patients, families and caregivers in our mito community may be looking for information regarding the virus. The purpose of this update is to provide information on our operations, some basic information about COVID_19 symptoms and prevention, as well as links to further information and resources.

MitoCanada Operations

We are still here to serve you and provide ways to connect with the Canadian mito community. MitoCanada’s support for those affected by mitochondrial disease continues to operate normally at this time. Our toll-free number (1-877-708-6486 (MITO)) and Facebook Peer2Peer Support Group play an important role in helping patients and caregivers better manage mitochondrial disease.

The goal of our peer-to-peer Facebook group is to create a vibrant community of mitochondrial disease patients and caregivers to share insights and ideas, and help answer each other’s questions and celebrate good news, from the comfort of your own home.


MitoCanada is actively monitoring and responding to Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommendations regarding COVID-19. PHAC is providing information & resources on COVID-19 for all Canadians at:

Mitochondrial disease patients and caregivers 

Symptoms of COVID-19

According to the PHAC, symptoms of COVID-19 have included:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • pneumonia in both lungs

More information about symptoms can be found on the PHAC site at

Talk to your doctor or healthcare team about risks to you or your family member with mitochondrial disease. They are the best source of information if you have questions about your risk based on where you live and your medical history.

Minimize the Risk of Infection

To minimize the risk of getting sick, we recommend all Canadians follow the recommendations of PHAC for prevention and risk.

Because mitochondrial patients are medically compromised, patients, families and caregivers may be looking for accurate information on COVID-19. In consultation with our medical advisors, below are recommended steps patients, families, and caregivers can take to protect the health and well-being of mitochondrial disease patients from COVID-19:

  • We strongly recommend reading the Canadian Public Health Agency website for further guidelines, resources and information. 
  • Practice good hand hygiene by thoroughly washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, especially when coming in from outside, being in contact with another person, after using the washroom, and when preparing food.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean the following high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1 part bleach to 9 parts water):
    • toys
    • toilets
    • phones
    • electronics
    • door handles
    • bedside tables
    • television remotes
  • For any mitochondrial disease child who needs care by another (i.e., transfers, ADL assistance, etc.), the care provider should wear a mask.  According to PHAC the mask acts as a barrier and helps stop the tiny droplets from spreading when you cough or sneeze.
  • If you have medical appointments, we encourage you to consider postponing after consultation with your health care provider, if possible, or talking to your care team about tele-health care.
  • No travel or visiting airports, train stations, etc. 
  • Mito-patients should stay at home, screen visitors, and avoid contact with individuals who are sick, show possible symptoms or have travelled in the past two weeks.