What IBD patients should know about the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

The following is reprinted from the CCFA March 11, 2020 email blast to their provider network.

We understand that there’s a lot of information in the news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and you may be concerned. The CCFA Foundation is available to help you make sense of the information and take the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC)

What special considerations do people with IBD need to keep in mind?

People with IBD who are taking medications that suppress their immune system (such as certain biologic/biosimilar medications, immunomodulators, and steroids) are generally at increased risk for infection. However, there are preventive actions you can take to protect yourself from exposure to the virus and prevent the spread of the disease. The CDC recommends the following ways to limit your risk of infection:
• Avoid having close contact with people who are sick.
• Do not touch your nose, eyes, and mouth if you have not washed your hands.
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. To ensure you wash for the appropriate amount of time, sing “Mary Had a Little Lamb” or another short song.
• If soap and water are not available to you, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Check the label to confirm the amount of alcohol.

Here are some other actions to take if you are feeling ill or you think you may have been exposed COVID-19:
• Stay home if you are feeling sick
• Contact your doctor
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and throw it in the trash
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects
• Wear a facemask if you are showing symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Wearing a mask will reduce the potential spread of the virus to others.

If you or your loved one are taking medications that suppress the immune system, remember that it is important to talk to your healthcare team about the risks of other infections.
The Foundation will update this information as the CDC and public health departments provide additional information and guidance. You can find additional information on COVID-19 on the CDC and World Health Organization’s websites.

Link to the CCFA information: https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/coronavirus-update/adults


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