Last Updated: May 22, 2020
From our CEO, Randall Rutta:
As news of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 changes by the hour, one fact remains constant: each of us needs to be informed about this public health threat and take actions to protect ourselves and our families. The CDC warns that older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19. AARDA strongly encourages people with autoimmune disease to know your risk and take appropriate precautions.
On this page, we are working to share trusted resources that you can turn to for information about the virus and ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from the effects that it will have in the autoimmune community. Below you will find comments and advice from AARDA’s Scientific Advisory Board and our National Board of Directors, as well as links to latest information from trusted sources.
Dr. Betty Diamond, Chair, AARDA Scientific Advisory Board
The worldwide spread of COVID-19 has disrupted all our lives. Unfortunately, the lack of information, and the slow engagement of scientific leadership, has enabled rumors and misinformation to spread. Fortunately, we all still exercise some control over our own health during this crisis. We, at AARDA, take this opportunity to offer some advice for individuals with autoimmune diseases during this pandemic.
Robert H. Phillips, Ph.D., Director, The Coping Counselors at the Center for Coping, Hicksville, NY.
Member, AARDA National Board of Directors
The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been causing increased stress for most people. Both the known facts about the virus, as well as the unknown concerns, can be overwhelming and anxiety-inducing for adults and children. It can be helpful to recognize that the way we are affected by anything going on around us is directly related to the way we think about it. Therefore, an important category of coping strategies involves working on your thinking.
Lilly Stairs, Founder & Principal, Patient Authentic LLC ; Vice Chair, AARDA
COVID-19 has turned all of our lives upside down. But for those of us living with autoimmune diseases, the pandemic may feel like it carries more weight for us than it does for most.
Knowing that the common cold can throw our bodies for a loop, thinking about the potential impact if we were to contract COVID-19 is quite frankly, terrifying.
Managing Stress & Promoting Well-being in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic – Webinar recording, April 23
National Briefing: CDC on COVID-19 & Autoimmune Disease – Webinar recording, April 3
Coronavirus Coping Q&A (PDF) Written by Robert H. Phillips, Ph.D.
Why Lupus Patients Find Hydroxychloroquine In Short Supply (NPR, April 1, 2020)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) – The NIEHS Worker Training Program
Important Resources for the Autoimmune Community
AARDA and other groups serving persons in the autoimmune, serious illness, and chronic condition communities are individually and collectively curating information on the COVID-19 coronavirus and steps to take to avoid contagion and, if infected, to manage the illness. For people with one or more autoimmune diseases, simply managing diagnosed conditions is often pretty challenging. COVID-19 adds new layers of difficulty as patients struggle to access current, accurate information – especially guidance that addresses their unique health care circumstances and needs.
AARDA recommends the following sources of information on COVID-19 as sources of accurate, frequently updated, and trustworthy information for patients, their families and communities.
Autoimmune Groups Rally to Provide Accurate COVID-19 Information to Our Community
AARDA recognizes that many of our autoimmunity community partner organizations, including patient groups and other stakeholders, have expertise in addressing the challenge of this novel coronavirus pandemic and are sources of valuable information and advice. Selected resources follow:
- American Academy of Neurology COVID-19 Neurology Resource Center
- American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Coronavirus and Eye Care
- American Academy of Otolaryngology Coronavirus Disease 2019: Resources
- American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Coronavirus Update
- American College of Rheumatology (ACR) ACR Announcement: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) American Gastroenterological Association
- American Liver Foundation – Your Liver and COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)
- American Society of Nephrology (ASN) COVID-19 Information
- American Thoracic Society (ATS) Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): The ATS Response
- American Urological Association Education and Research (AUA) COVID-19 Resources
- The Arthritis Foundation – Coronavirus and Arthritis: What You Need to Know
- Beyond Celiac – Coronavirus COVID-19 and Celiac Disease
- Celiac Disease Foundation – Celiac Disease and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation – What IBD patients should know about the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF) – IDF Statement on COVID-19
- The International Foundation for Autoimmune & Autoinflammatory Arthritis (IFAiArthritis) – Special Coverage: COVID-19 & AiArthritis
- Lupus Foundation of America – Coronavirus and Lupus
- Myasthenia Gravis Foundation Of America – Community News
- The Myositis Association – Information for Clinicians
- National Addison’s Disease Foundation – COVID-19
- National Eczema Association – Ask the Ecz-perts: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- National Infusion Center Association –COVID-19 Guidance & Resource Toolkit
- National Kidney Foundation – Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- The National Multiple Sclerosis Society – What You Need To Know About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Psoriasis Foundation of America – Coronavirus Concerns?
- PANDAS Network – What PANDAS/PANS Families Should Know About the Coronavirus
- The Platelet Disorder Support Association – PDSA Statement on COVID-19 & ITP Conference 2020
- The Scleroderma Foundation – COVID-2019 (“Coronavirus”)
- The Sjögren’s Foundation – Coronavirus and the Sjögren’s Foundation Updates
- U.S. Pain Foundation – An Update on COVID-19 and U.S. Pain Programs
- Vasculitis Foundation – Coronavirus – COVID-19