Increased risk for Lupus Warriors
People with lupus are generally more vulnerable to infections. Plus, they are more likely to end up with severe symptoms due to both a suppressed immune system and lower overall health. Since this is a highly contagious disease, catching it is a concern.
For younger people with no dysregulation of the immune system, the disease is usually mild. Sometimes not even noticed or diagnosed, and it passes on its own. Still, everyone should be careful because health resources are limited. Since the coronavirus epidemic is also coming along with cold and flu season, more beds and equipment will be needed to take care of patients. People with lupus are more likely to need additional treatment and hospital-based care. So, those needing services may face these shortages firsthand.
This will also mean that doctors and nurses are stressed and overburdened. Taken together, these things can have a negative impact on care. And, hospital will have higher-than-normal concentration of sick and contagious people.
Most cases of COVID-19 are mild and require rest, nutrition, and very basic care. However, people with lupus are at risk for more severe symptoms. High fevers, lung failure, and problems in other organs will require hospitalization.
At the hospital, treatment may include:
- IVs to maintain hydration and nutrition
- ventilators to keep the lungs working properly
Remdesivir is a new antiviral drug originally designed to combat Ebola and Marburg virus by preventing them from replicating in the cell. If they can’t replicate, then they can’t continue to cause the infection. Remdesivir has the potential to attack other single stranded RNA viruses, including Coronaviruses like COVID-19 and SARS. It is currently under trial to make sure that it does work, without causing harm. So far it is very promising.
Until Remdesivir is approved, treatments will be focused on maintenance and helping you battle symptoms.
Avoiding the COVID-19 outbreak
The biggest advice that experts around the world are giving is “wash your hands.”
The second biggest piece of advice is to get the flu shot. And, make sure that your family does too. While the flu shot will not protect you from coronaviruses, it will protect you from also having the flu. It is safe for Lupus Warriors to get the flu shot and it is usually covered by insurance. Since people with lupus are also vulnerable to the flu, and since being sick increases your risk of more severe symptoms, it is a good idea to protect yourself. Protecting your family also protects you, since if they don’t catch the flu, they cannot spread it to you. You can read more about lupus and the flu here.
Healthy children will usually have mild symptoms of COVID-19, but will spread the virus for longer. People with lupus who spend time around children (or children with lupus who are going to school) should be careful about close contact and use usual anti-flu measures.
Coronavirus does not have a vaccine yet, but it spreads a lot like the flu and you can protect yourself in other ways.