MSU has been receiving questions about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and myositis. We understand that when there is a new threat to public health and welfare, patients with chronic illnesses who are immunosuppressed have a vested interest in how to protect themselves. We reached out to some experts for advice and were directed to the following information that we are including below.
The information is fluid, as the virus is new and changing. We caution that you should view this (and all health threats) as you view any cold and flu season and take necessary precautions. BUT, we do want to encourage you to try not to over-stress yourself as stress is a trigger for the myositis family of diseases.
From all accounts, medical experts are urging caution and vigilance but not hysteria. We also invite you to keep your eyes and ears open in case the information changes. If we get more information, we will update this post.
Below are credible resources to stay updated.
CDC – Coronavirus (COVID-19)
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
A Message from the ACR about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
From American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
Coronavirus and Arthritis: What You Need to Know
From The Arthritis Foundation
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), WHO Situation Report-41
From the World Health Organization (WHO)
Here are additional resources from WHO:
Updated WHO recommendations for international traffic in relation to COVID-19 outbreak
Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)
Practice good hygiene
Everything we read says to practice your normal safety habits. Wash your hands often, use sanitizer in public, don’t touch your face in public, keep three feet between you and others (especially if they are coughing), wipe down surfaces if you are touching them, stay home when you can, etc.
There are also some great suggestions among these resources included above on how to be careful in the world, such as pushing buttons with your elbow, using a napkin to open a door, and more…things many of us already do.
Wash your hands often, use sanitizer in public, don’t touch your face in public, keep three feet between you and others (especially if they are coughing), wipe down surfaces if you are touching them, stay home when you can, and stay calm, don’t panic.
Some final thoughts
The numbers, according to the WHO and the CDC, appear to indicate that this is a low risk but high transmission virus. But it doesn’t hurt to be vigilant; please be safe and remember not to panic.
As we reviewed these resources we felt comforted as fellow myositis patients and caregivers that as long as we take our normal germ-avoidance precautions, and of course let our doctors know immediately if we have any symptoms, that we can keep ourselves safe. We hope that you are able to derive the same comfort.
If you have these three new symptoms don’t delay in calling your doctor:
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
We wish you the best of health and we are looking forward to spring!