COVID-19 and RA: What you need to know

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COVID-19 and RA: What you need to know

COVID-19 and RA: What you need to know

COVID-19 and RA

The recent pandemic has had a drastic effect on all of our lives these past 5-6 months, and it continues to do so. Here’s an update with info from the CDC, and some information regarding COVID-19 and rheumatic diseases.

Healthy Practices

As businesses slowly begin to reopen and society starts to shift back to a new normal, we cannot forget about our healthy habits. As always, wash your hands frequently, especially after touching a surface that likely has germs on it. When hand washing isn’t possible hand sanitizer can help (but not replace!). Also, avoid touching your face– especially your mouth and nose– so as not to transfer germs from your hands to your respiratory system.

Secondly, don’t forget your mask when you leave your house! Whether or not it is required in your state, studies have shown that wide public use of cloth face coverings have a significant impact on disease transmission. By wearing a mask, you are keeping potentially harmful respiratory droplets out of the air.

Another thing to remember is social distancing. If you’re going to be in the same space with others, especially for an extended amount of time, try to stay at least 6 feet away from others that aren’t in your household.

High Risk Individuals

Some groups of people are deemed as “high risk” for COVID-19. These categories include older adults and those with pre-existing health conditions. High risk individuals may be more likely to experience complications with COVID-19.

People with autoimmune disorders may be at an increased risk when it comes to COVID-19, so you should be especially careful. Try to avoid unnecessary contact with those outside of your household, and be vigilant in the previously stated safe practices. Also, be aware of how your medications may affect your immune system.

COVID-19 & Rheumatic Conditions

In this observational study of patients with rheumatic conditions who contracted COVID-19, researchers discovered the following: 

◼Certain rheumatic conditions, such as lupus and vasculitis, were more likely to require hospitalization than psoriatic arthritis and axial spondylitis.

◼Those who were hospitalized had more comorbidities (additional chronic conditions) such as hypertension, lung disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and chronic renal insufficiency/end-stage renal disease.

◼Glucocorticoids, such as a high dose of prednisone, were linked with increased hospitalization, as the medications affect the entire body. Other rheumatic medications were not linked with increased hospitalization.

There are two points worth taking into consideration with the release of this study. First of all, the way the data for the study was collected means that the results cannot be generalized to all patients with rheumatic conditions who contract COVID-19. Secondly, 91% of the 600 patients in the study recovered, and the researchers advise rheumatic patients to continue their prescriptions in the absence of COVID-19 infection.

Whatever conditions you may have, the best way to avoid COVID-19 is to educate yourself, consult with your doctor, and maintain safe health practices. If you need additional, personal support, I can help! My program is designed to help manage all aspects of your diagnosis, and we can find ways to keep you safe, happy, and healthy that work for you! ??Schedule your free consultation with me today to get started!??
Stefanie Remson

Stefanie Remson

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