Coronavirus disease also known as (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath. The virus can lead to pneumonia in both lungs.
Those who are immunosuppressed and/or elderly are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 according to Dr. Rohit Aggarwal, Associate Professor of Medicine, Medical Director, Arthritis and Autoimmunity Center from the University of Pittsburgh, and Chair of The Myositis Association’s Medical Advisory Board. Dr. Aggarwal recommends that myositis patients, particularly those on immunosuppressive drugs or older than 60 years of age, should take common sense steps and follow CDC recommendations such as frequent hand washing and avoiding sick contacts (including friends or family), avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, covering your cough and sneezes and staying home when you are sick. Dr. Aggarwal also recommends avoiding non-urgent long-distance travel for patients on multiple immunosuppressive medications at this time.
Those with highest risk of the disease at this time, are those who have traveled overseas or have been on a cruise. If you are experiencing symptoms, call the office of your health care provider before you go, and tell them about your recent travel and the symptoms you are experiencing. Your doctor’s office will provide you guidance on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness.
For more information and to stay up to date on the latest outbreak visit the CDC’s website