April 2024

Lupus and COVID-19

This is an anxious time across Canada and all over the world; keep in mind that most people who become infected have mild or even no symptoms. The main goal of all current recommendations is to slow the spread of the virus.

People with lupus may ask:

  1. What precautions should I take against COVID-19?

The Public Health Agency of Canada website states:

Protective self-separation is recommended for a person who is at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (e.g., older adults, those with chronic underlying medical conditions or immunocompromised) when the virus is circulating in their community.

This means avoiding exposure to public spaces and crowds where possible and practicing social distancing if not. For some, this may include workspaces. Many businesses and places of work are making efforts to allow employees to work from home.  Many clinics and hospitals are conducting patient appointments by telephone or video, except in essential cases. Check with your doctor before attending a routine appointment.

  1. What will happen if I get infected with COVID-19, especially if I am taking prednisone or other immunosuppressive agents?

Currently, there is no specific information on how severe COVID-19 usually is, or how long it lasts, in patients with rheumatologic disease or immunosuppression.

  1. Should I stop taking my prednisone or my immunosuppressive medications?

All patients should talk to their rheumatologist or other lupus doctor before stopping any of their medications. There is no information on the influence of these medications on COVID-19. If you become infected with the virus, let healthcare providers know immediately about all your medications so the best decisions can be made.

Most Important:

Stay home. Wash your hands often. Don’t touch your face. Cover your cough.

If you develop a fever or a cough, check your local sources to find out where and how to get tested, and what to do next.

Lupus Blog Articles:

Anifrolumab (Saphnelo) listed in SK


Belimumab (Benlysta) listed in AB, NL & NIHB


Belimumab (Benlysta) listed in ON