What the Coronavirus Means for People with Lupus
As the news moves quickly, be sure to first take a look at our Coronavirus and Lupus page to make sure you're getting most current information
In recent weeks, a new type of virus widely known as the coronavirus (sometimes called COVID-19) has been spreading around the world. There have been a number of stories in the news of people getting sick from this new virus.
Given that people with lupus are at higher risk for a number of types of infections, including viruses, it is only natural to be concerned about the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely watching the coronavirus both internationally and here in the U.S. The risk of catching the coronavirus in the U.S. is very low.
It is important, however, for you to look after your health and keep your risk of infection low. The best way to do this is to take the same steps that you would to avoid other types of viruses like colds and the flu:
- Avoid anyone—including family members—with symptoms of fever (over 100ºF), nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Specifically, you should avoid close, personal contact, such as hugging, kissing, and shaking hands.
- Wash your hands (tops, palms, and fingers) frequently with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Keep and use alcohol-based gel or wipes, both out in public and at home. Remember that surfaces—especially in bathrooms, on shared office equipment, on store counter tops, gas pump handles, any surface of the car, and in restaurants—can expose you to germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Use the crook of your arm to shield coughs and sneezing. Do not use your hands or handkerchiefs as they carry moisture that spread viruses.
- Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
- Please remember that you should never stop taking medications used to treat your lupus without first consulting with your doctor.
Call your doctor right away if you develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
More information on coronavirus, lupus, and protecting yourself from infections can be found on our Coronavirus and lupus resource page.
Medically reviewed: February 28, 2020