What does the spread of coronavirus mean for patients with chronic illnesses, such as inflammatory arthritis? With more than 80,000 detected cases of the virus internationally, this is an important question for rheumatologists to be considering.
A patient that is immunocompromised must take extra care to know the symptoms of the virus. While the beginning of a cough, fever, or any other typical flu symptom isn’t a cause for panic, patients should be aware of what to look for, and should be able to contact their rheumatologist should they have any concerns.
They must also be following the usual best practices for staying healthy. These include staying hydrated, exercising, getting enough sleep, and most importantly: washing their hands thoroughly.
Lastly, encourage patients to have an emergency plan in place. Avoiding situations where the virus could be spread, and having enough food, water, and other supplies in the house are good ways to prepare for a possible outbreak.
These three steps can help patients stay calm and healthy as concerns about the coronavirus rise.