Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Lupus
Updated: Nov 10, 2022
Lupus.com provides resources that will help you stay both mentally and physically healthy during this uncertain time; and steps we've taken over the course of the pandemic to help protect people with lupus.
What People with Lupus Need to Know
People with lupus should take extra precautions to avoid exposure to the virus, since they are vulnerable to viruses and developing other illnesses. Adhering to CDC recommended safety guidelines, which include the use of cloth face coverings, avoid nonessential travel, social distancing, washing your hands often, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched areas can limit the spread of the virus.
If you are sick or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, please follow CDC and your local health department’s recommendations for self-quarantine and reporting. We also advise you to consult with your health care team and communicate any and all your symptoms.
At this time, it’s especially important for people with lupus to consider switching to telehealth (telemedicine) for routine appointments. Since the start of the pandemic, telehealth has become a useful and convenient tool to ensure everyone’s safety, particularly those with chronic diseases. If you have an upcoming virtual visit with your doctor, listen to The Expert Series: Telehealth and lupus on how to prepare. For more information on how telehealth works and what options are available to you, please talk with your provider and insurance company.
What You Can Do
Feelings of loneliness and helplessness are common among people with lupus, and those feelings are only more common during the coronavirus outbreak. But there are actions you can take to protect your health, your peace of mind, and your rights.
You can take care of your mental health. There are a number of healthy, effective ways to manage your stress and anxiety levels so you can maintain a positive outlook during the pandemic.
You can stay in touch with friends, family, and care providers. Let them know your situation and how to help you if you get sick. Be prepared to explain to people what lupus is and why you need to be extra careful. This worksheet can help you organize your thoughts. You can also find support and community through LupusConnect, our online support community.
You can contact us with issues that you're having. Our health educator specialists will help you find the necessary resources and provide you with individualized answers.
As mentioned earlier, the best way to prevent a COVID-19 infection is to protect yourself. You can do so by:
Double masking – With new variants of the disease circulating around the country, improving the fit of your mask is important. The CDC recommends wearing a disposable mask underneath a cloth mask.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth to reduce the spread of germs.
Wash your hands (tops, palms, and fingers) often with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been out in public. Remember that high-touch surfaces can expose you to germs.
Keep and use alcohol-based gel or wipes, both out in public and at home.
Currently, there are three vaccines that have been authorized and recommended to prevent COVID-19:
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
Moderna COVID-19 vaccine
Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine
While there are still many questions left to be answered, you can read all of the information and resources about the COVID-19 vaccines, and connect with your doctor. We will be updating this page as we know more.
What We Are Doing For You
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic’s impact can still be felt across the nation. At the Lupus Foundation of America, we continue in our commitment to providing the most up-to-date information surrounding new developments on the coronavirus and its impact on the lupus community. Your health and care are our highest priorities and by following the science closely and consulting with members of LFA’s Medical-Scientific Advisory Council (MSAC), every measure is taken to ensure people affected by lupus receive the care, support, and vital information they need.
Since so much of the work we do is influenced by our constituents’ experiences, in hopes of advancing critical lupus research, funding and education programs; we have listened to your concerns and represented your views. Now more than ever, our engagement and outreach with those living with lupus and their involvement in various advocacy efforts has given us a unique perspective in addressing our community’s immediate health care needs and concerns.Our Health Education Specialists (HES) have served on the front line of COVID-related questions since the beginning of the pandemic. As professionals in nursing and health education, HES continue to stay on top of trends, research information, and recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and the American College of Rheumatology.
They are working across departments to provide general resources and support during this difficult time and have brought constituent concerns to the forefront. HES have advocated for the needs of people with lupus, all while addressing your most pressing questions about the medication shortages, social distancing, working during COVID-19, and vaccination recommendations.
Lastly, in an effort to make certain that the protections of the lupus community and other immunocompromised groups are prevalent during the vaccine distribution rollout, we have joined forces with the Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF), The AIDS Institute, the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), and Susan G. Komen to establish the Protecting the Immunocompromised Collaborative. The Collaborative seeks to bring the immunocompromised communities’ concerns and voices to the attention of the Committee on Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Coronavirus, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at CDC, and policymakers on the Hill.
Content provided by Lupus.org https://www.lupus.org/resources/coronavirus-and-lupus