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Lupus and Coronavirus – The Link

Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that happens when the immune system of your body attacks your organs and tissues. The inflammation caused by lupus may affect a variety of body systems, including your skin, joints, kidneys, brain, heart, lungs and blood cells.

The link between COVID-19 and lupus

The immune system helps in protecting the body from all kinds of infections deemed harmful to your body.

An overactive immune system is sure to cause numerous health problems; this makes it all the more difficult for the patients to fight Coronavirus. Infection by SARS-CoV-2 is a complication that may arise when you have already been diagnosed with “Systemic Lupus Erythematosus” known generally as SLE.

Should a Lupus patient take extra precautions for preventing COVID-19?

Individuals with lupus or other autoimmune diseases are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 as the existing condition compromises the immune system making them prone to  infections. In such cases, it is advised to remain very cautious . Washing hands frequently and disinfecting the home is necessary as well.

Patients find it  challenging to beat COVID-19 successfully when they have the following pre-existing conditions:

  • Lung diseases resulting in breathing difficulties and chest pain
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fever
  • Kidney ailments
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

How does lupus medication affect patients infected with COVID-19?

A number of immunosuppressants are prescribed for Lupus. Some of these may enhance your susceptibility to COVID-19 .

Some medictions that may be used to treat Lupus may be

  • NSAID’s (Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs): 
  • Steroids (corticosteroid): Prednisone
  • Immunosuppressant: (methotrexate)
  • Biologics:
  • Antimalarial drugs: hydroxychloroquine

Not all medicines will increase your risks for developing COVID-19.

It might be advisable to avoid certain medications.  Advised to speak with your doctor about your concern.

When do you need medical attention?

Do not hesitate to visit a doctor or rush to a medical facility when you develop early symptoms involving fever, breathlessness , rash or other URI symptoms. It may be due to Lupus if you have a history of the disease , or due to COVID -19  or can be a common cold. You need to manage the disease  at the earliest and consult a doctor.

Seek medical help immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest pain or feeling of pressure and tightening of the chest
  • Weakness and confusion
  • Skin discoloration (excoriation or rash mainly on the cheeks)

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How to minimize the risks of COVID-19 when you have Lupus?

Some of the precautions that you must ensure include:-

  • Avoiding close contact with individuals who may have been infected
  • Making sure to wash your hands meticulously frequently with soap & water. Alternatively, you may use an alcohol-based sanitizer to keep your hands clean
  • Do not touch your face frequently
  • Keep all surfaces disinfected
  • Avoid UV light exposure
  • Include calcium or vitamin D supplements in the diet.
  • Do Regular exercise
  • Practise Healthy eating

Lupus weakens a person’s ability to fight deadly infections. Thus, it is best to follow the advisory provided by public health authorities to keep all infections, including Covid-19  at bay.

Request an appointment at Apollo Hospitals

Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment

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