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Are arthritis patients more susceptible to corona complications?


Arthritis is usually caused by an immune reaction or infection, and inflammatory arthritis typically affects several joints at once, making it difficult for individuals to comfortably go about their daily activities.


It includes inflammatory arthritis, rheumatoid, reactive, psoriatic and gouty arthritis, among others. It is important to note that this type of arthritis can affect children as well, in a condition known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis which is a disease of unknown etiology.


What is autoimmune arthritis?

 

According to a report by "webmd", the word "autoimmune" means that our body's immune system considers its cells as foreign bodies and attacks them. In autoimmune arthritis, the immune system mistakenly attacks joint tissues (cartilage, ligaments, and bone), which leads to inflammation and subsequent joint degeneration. , but what causes the autoimmune condition is not clearly understood; However, genetic and environmental factors, as well as lifestyle (in some cases) play a role.


Symptoms of this type of arthritis are usually stiffness in the affected joint - usually during the morning hours and in cold conditions, pain, swelling, sometimes redness and warmth in the affected area, and restricted movements.


Inflammatory arthritis and complications of corona

For a while now, the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on our lives, the pandemic has proven to be an even greater challenge for patients with systemic illnesses, and people with inflammatory arthritis have been advised to take extra precautions.


And patients with autoimmune diseases tend to follow immunosuppressive regimens, so the risk of developing a fast-spreading infection such as the Corona virus is higher.


Second: Patients with autoimmune arthritis have an inherently disturbed immune mechanism, given the inappropriate immune system responses, it is advised to follow strict precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19 as well.


Please note that although there is no direct evidence that having arthritis increases the risk of contracting COVID-19 or its complications (except for those taking immunosuppressive medications).



What to do if an arthritis patient gets infected with the Corona virus?

 

In the event that a patient with rheumatoid arthritis is infected with MERS-CoV, the treating physician is advised to consult with the patient’s healthcare provider to adjust or change any medications during MERS treatment, priority should be given to treating MERS-CoV infection and minimizing the extent of damage.


After recovery, intensive rehabilitation can be initiated to preserve organ and joint functions. For the vaccination of these individuals against the Coronavirus, the Ministry of Health has recommended that patients who have been taking corticosteroid/immunosuppressive drugs for long periods of time be vaccinated.

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