COVID-19 & Arthritis

The global pandemic of COVID-19 has completely upended everyone’s lives in 2020.  Several will be feeling the impact for years to come. There are many people in the world suffering from an autoimmune condition, making it easier for them to catch the virus.  There are precautionary measures which can be taken to help guard against the disease.

Common Symptoms

There are 23.5 million people suffering from an autoimmune disease in America. They are used to take precautions on a daily basis to protect their bodies. Autoimmune disorders, like rheumatoid arthritis, means your body begins attacking healthy tissues in the body, therefore decreasing the body’s ability to fight off infection.  This means their immune system is already compromised. Since, COVID-19 is extremely contagious, adults with pre-existing conditions are more susceptible.  Here are some of the symptoms you should never ignore:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body Aches
  • Dry Throat/Nose
  • Trouble Breathing
  • Dry Cough

Avoid Public Areas

At this stage of the pandemic most of us are used to practicing social distancing.  Those diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis or any other autoimmune arthritis should take extra precautions. What are some of the best ways for those with arthritis to social distance?

  1. Have someone deliver your food.  Make sure they take time to sanitize packages or food before bringing it into your home.
  2. Leave your home only when absolutely necessary.
  3. Observe staying 6 feet away from other individuals.

Even if you are around someone who is not exhibiting symptoms, they may be asymptomatic and not even know. It is possible to be asymptomatic for up to two weeks without having knowledge you are spreading the virus.

Arthritis Patients May Take Precedence

Yes, it is true supplies of the COVID-19 tests are extremely limited. However, researchers are working to develop a way for individuals to be checked and receive their test results faster.  Those with pre-existing autoimmune disorders should call the COVID-19 hotline (211) if they are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. If you feel as though your symptoms have gotten progressively worse, and are currently a patient at Arthritis Consultants of Eastern Tennessee, contact us to find the healthiest way for you to proceed.

Will I Show Immediate Symptoms?

No.  However, when you do begin to show symptoms, there is a possibility of them coming on much faster than those with a healthy immune system. Also, some of the symptoms of your autoimmune disorder may already reflect symptoms of COVID-19Sjorgren’s syndrome is one of those.  Sjorgren’s syndrome patients may already exhibit a dry cough, and if they contract the virus will not have knowledge they are spreading the virus.

Since those with an autoimmune disorder already have a compromised immune system, they must work hard to take care of themselves from the inside out. They are already concerned with keeping germs and bacteria at bay. If you experience any possible symptoms, do not underestimate the likelihood that you could have contracted the virus.

Live in Eastern TN? Call Us!

There is still so much to be learned about how this virus is spread, whom it directly affects, and how it to deal with it constant mutation. Patients who are suffering from autoimmune arthritis should not take any chances. If you begin to show any symptoms, contact Arthritis Consultants of Eastern TN or the COVID-19 hotline at 211 to find out more information. We urge you to stay safe and stay healthy.


Arthritis Consultants of East Tennessee specializes in rheumatologic care, which is the practice of assessing joints, muscles, and bones for pain, swelling, stiffness, and deformity. Contact us or call 865-503-2001 today to find out how we can help you get your life back on track.

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