What Coronavirus Means to Lupus Patients
For anyone who is diagnosed with Lupus, it is extremely important to understand the importance of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 called COVID-19. People with lupus are predisposed (at greater risk) to infections because of both their disease as well as the medications they take to manage it. Recognizing this increased susceptibility and the importance of being well-informed in order to take appropriate actions, we are sharing the below information from the CDC.
Most recently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement noting that while the risk of widespread infection continues to be low in the U.S., it is important to prepare for the possibility. As with any respiratory illness, the agency recommends ways to protect against infection that everyone should follow, and particularly the elderly, children and people whose immune systems are compromised (weakened).
Steps to Prevent Infection
According to the CDC, the best way to prevent infection is to:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when not near soap and water
Clean and disinfect areas you and others touch often
Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wearing a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Travel Caution from the CDC
The CDC is also a good resource for advice about traveling outside of the U.S. Here are their current recommendations:
Avoid travel to the People’s Republic of China and South Korea unless necessary.
Older people and those with chronic medical conditions are advised to postpone travel if possible, to Iran, Italy and Japan because of the current cases of disease seen in these countries.
Before traveling to other countries, check the CDC’s travel health notices for updates.
The American College of Rheumatology provided guidance for people who have rheumatologic diseases including lupus. Suggestions for prevention agree with the CDC recommendations; however, the overall content is specific to the concerns of this population.
More information on protecting yourself from infections:
- Lupus and your risk of infection
- Infection prevention is in your hands
- More information from the CDC