Search Autoimmune Association
Share this article
Cv Banner With Text

Autoimmune Community Turns Out for National Briefing with CDC on Covid-19 & Autoimmunity

On Friday, April 3, Autoimmune Association co-hosted a briefing with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and in conjunction with National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups (NCAPG) on the risks associated with COVID-19 for people with autoimmune diseases. The response was amazing. More than 4,500 people registered and 2,720 participated “live;” more than 1,600 questions were submitted, and since then, more than 100 new questions were submitted from patients. AARDA, NCAPG organizations and others are actively responding through FAQs and individualized answers. In every instance, patients are advised to check-in with their physicians.

The National Briefing featured an expert panel:

  • Dr. Georgina Peacock, CDC COVID-19 Task Force Lead and Director, Division of Human Development and Disability at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
  • Dr. Aline Charabaty, gastroenterologist, Clinical Director of the GI Division and Director of the IBD Center, Johns Hopkins-Sibley Memorial Hospital
  • Dr. Nancy Carteron, rheumatologist, University of California – Berkeley, School of Optometry, former Chair of the Medical & Scientific Advisors for the Sjogren’s Foundation
  • Dr. Eric Chow, COVID-19 Response: Medical Care and Countermeasures Task Force, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Influenza Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease

Dr. Betty Diamond, the chairperson of AARDA’s Scientific Advisory Board and the Head of the Center for Autoimmune, Musculoskeletal and Hematopoietic Diseases at The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, moderated the session. The physicians confirmed the grim reality we’ve been hearing — patients with autoimmune diseases and other underlying medical conditions and our elder population are at higher risk for COVID-19 and increased complications.Throughout the webinar, the doctors reminded us that it is absolutely critical that those with compromised immune systems strictly adhere to CDC recommendations. Patients should continue taking prescribed medicines and recommended treatments including in-home infusions, where possible. Some physicians are reducing the amount of prednisone to 20 mg per day for selected patients as a precautionary measure to avoid the possibility of increased risk and non-effectiveness of the steroid.

In addition to fever, cough, and shortness of breath, autoimmune patients may experience other symptoms that could possibly indicate the virus. Patients should be on high alert for symptoms they do not regularly experience and contact their healthcare professionals with questions and concerns. It is also recommended that patients utilize telemedicine apps to connect with medical professionals and postpone non-essential testing and procedures.

The National Briefing recording and slides are posted on the Autoimmune Association website, and every person registered received a follow-up communication with a link to access the session.

View the Recording

Share this article

Join our email list

Receive the latest blog articles, news, and more right to your inbox!

Related articles you might be interested in

Autoimmune Association Image Do Not Touch

Meet Lesley Wilks: Pretty Sick

Lesley Wilks’ journey with autoimmune diseases has not been an easy one. To date, she has been diagnosed with three separate autoimmune diseases...
Autoimmune Association Image Do Not Touch

CMS Drops Stacking Provision in Medicaid Drug Rebate Proposal

  The Autoimmune Association, along with 31 other patient organizations, submitted a letter to request the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)...
Autoimmune Association Image Do Not Touch

Raising Hope: The Joseph Coniglio Charity Golf Tournament

  Lucia Coniglio’s family has been significantly impacted by autoimmune disease. She lives with an autoimmune disease causing a narrowing of the esophagus,...
Autoimmune Association Image Do Not Touch

AMP AIM: Modeling relationships to establish breakthroughs in autoimmune health

  Autoimmune and immune-mediated diseases in the U.S. currently lack a centralized research strategy. Unlike cancer research, which consolidated under the National Cancer...

Find more resources on autoimmunity

Learn more about autoimmunity, diagnosis tips, how to find a physician, and more.