The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. USA (CDC) have updated their recommendations for people who are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19, including people over the age of 60 and people with serious chronic medical conditions. “stay home as much as possible” and “avoid the crowds”.

According to the website from the CDC, “Older Adults and People Who Have Medical Conditions Chronic, such as heart, lung, or kidney disease, could have an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 disease severely. The preliminary data suggests that older people have twice the likely to develop the most severe form of the disease caused by the COVID-19 virus.”

The CDC website says, “If you are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 because of age or because you have a serious underlying medical condition, it is especially important that you take steps to reduce the risk of infection. ” In addition, it recommends taking additional protection measures if COVID-19 is spreading in your community how to maintain an adequate distance between you and other people, stay home as much as possible and avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.

We ask Dr. Michael George, rheumatologist and epidemiologist who studies infections in patients with autoimmune disease, who should follow these recommendations. His answer: “The more at risk you are, the more you should consider these recommendations”.

According to the expert, these new measures apply particularly to those with more illnesses, severe or have been hospitalized in the past with a respiratory infection or have interstitial lung disease, COPD, or asthma, for example. (See below for more details on risk factors.)

People with osteoarthritis, or non-autoimmune types of arthritis, which have risk factors, such as age (over 60 years) or a serious underlying medical condition must also follow CDC guidelines on how to avoid crowds.

And, adds Dr. George, “everyone should follow general precautions,” such as washing hands, do not touch face, eyes, nose or mouth.

P: What is a Coronavirus?

A: Coronaviruses they are a large family of viruses that can cause everything from colds to pneumonia serious. Some point to your nose, so you get the cold and the irritated throat. Others, such as the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19, are adhere to cells in the lungs.

Q: What are the COVID-19 symptoms?

A: Most of the people, about 80% or more, have mild symptoms similar to Seasonal cold or flu. Fever, cough, and shortness of breath can appear two to 14 days after infection. (An unpublished study suggests that the incubation period may last one more week). A little number of people develop severe pneumonia, and some become ill seriously. Some people who test positive for COVID-19 never get sick, but they can transmit the virus.

Q: How does it spread the virus?

A: Like the colds and seasonal flu, the new coronavirus spreads through the drops expelled when a person coughs or sneezes. People can contract the virus too when they touch a contaminated surface like a counter, handrails or doorknob and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Is little this virus is likely to survive on hard surfaces for a long time, although it is not clear how long, says Dr. Timothy Brewer, professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. The alcohol Isopropyl, hydrogen peroxide, and bleach can effectively kill viruses of surface in approximately one minute. Soap and water, as well as Disinfectants like Sanytol also work, although not as well.

Q: Am I more likely to get COVID-19 if I have autoimmune or inflammatory arthritis?

A: We still don’t have all the information about this virus, says Dr. Kevin Winthrop, infectious diseases epidemiology specialist from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Science and Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Without However, in general, people with autoimmune or inflammatory arthritis who have high disease activity appear to be at increased risk of infections due to increased immune dysregulation.

For COVID-19 and the seasonal flu, we know that older adults and those with pre-existing health, especially cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, and those who have been previously hospitalized with infections are at higher risk.

The experts emphasize that one of the main concerns for people with Autoimmune disease that catch seasonal flu or COVID-19 is infection secondary bacterial, or complications, that may follow viral infection original.

For these reasons, it is important that you call your doctor or the toll-free numbers authorized for this purpose by the different Autonomous Communities immediately if you think you have been exposed or have flu-like symptoms. Be sure to indicate that you are taking immunosuppressive drugs. (Read below about medications immunosuppressants and risk).

Q: Am I more at risk of infection when taking immunosuppressive drugs?

A: We don’t know if taking immunosuppressive medications further increases the risk of contracting COVID-19. But Dr. Michael George, rheumatologist and assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia says that, in relation to viruses in general, some data suggests that certain drugs used to treat autoimmune or inflammatory arthritis, such as organic products (eg Remicade, Enbrel and Cimzia), JAK inhibitors (Xeljanz, Olumiant and Rinvoq) and corticosteroids (prednisone), may contribute to an increased risk or severity of infection viral. A recent study in people with cardiovascular disease found that hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) does not increase the risk of infection and methotrexate increases the risk of infection only slightly.

Concern with immune suppression is that the virus could replicate more freely and cause a more severe or extensive disease, says Dr. Winthrop. For this reason, it is important if you are taking these medications contact your doctor right away if you think you have been exposed or have symptoms similar to those of flu. (See question on symptoms). Be sure to indicate that you are taking immunosuppressive medications.

The experts warn patients not to stop or change the dose of the drug without calling your doctors.

Q: Can my pet infect me with the COVID-19?

A: The Organization World Health Organization (WHO) says there is no evidence that cats and dogs can contract or transmit the coronavirus to people. There is a lot misinformation about how the virus started, and some people suggest which was made in a laboratory. That is not true. According to previous outbreaks of coronavirus and the virus genome, experts say there appears to be started in a wild animal, probably a bat or pangolin.

Q: How deadly the virus is?

A: It is difficult to tell. Estimates are likely to change as they are detected or report milder cases. When people with mild illness do not they say, the virus may seem more deadly than it is. Starting March 1 As of 2020, there were 87,508 confirmed cases worldwide and 2,990 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering in Baltimora, which is closely following the spread of the virus at the world. In comparison, CDC data estimates that in the U.S. alone, between 18,000 46,000 people have died of seasonal flu since October 2019.

Q: What should I do if I think I have this virus?

A: Call your doctor or to the phone numbers free authorized for this purpose by the different Autonomous Communities immediately and be sure to tell him what type of medications you are taking. Its likely doctor tells you to treat mild symptoms as you would with a cold or the flu: rest, drink fluids, and stay isolated from others. If your symptoms are moderate or severe, they are likely to send you to the hospital, where they will monitor you for complications, such as pneumonia.

Q: If I am infected, is my family at risk?

If you are infected, It should be isolated in your home for at least 14 days. If possible, have others use a separate toilet and do not handle or touch objects that they have touched without gloves. Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hands. Everybody hands should be washed thoroughly and frequently (if possible, use separate sinks).

Don’t worry or panic, but take steps to protect yourself and others. These are:

1. Avoid places full of people. The elderly, over 60 years, and those with serious chronic medical conditions have to avoid going to places where there is many people. This means avoiding movie theaters, crowded centers shopping, air travel, public transportation, and church. If your workplace involves traveling or being with many people, ask about the remote work, if possible.

2. Wash your hands. We cannot emphasize this enough. Wet your hands with clean, running water, then rinse with soap. Rub both sides, between your fingers, and under your nails for at least 20 seconds. Be thorough and follow the technique recommended by the WHO.

3. Use disinfectants for hands when you cannot wash your hands. When soap and water are not one option, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Keep a bottle in the car, on your desk and in your purse or pocket.

4. Disinfect the surfaces regularly. Clean high contact surfaces like countertops, light switches, door knobs and the interior of your car with disinfectant. Use a mixture of 60% isopropyl alcohol and 40% water to kill germs on high-contact objects and surfaces, such as your cell phone, computer keyboard, remote control, doors and taps. Wash the glasses with soap and warm water every day.

5. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough. Discard all used tissues immediately.

6. Give up handshakes and hugs for the moment. Practice greeting with a smile and putting your hands to your heart.

7. Don’t wear mask. Standard surgical face masks do not serve as a filter against the virus in healthy people, but if you are sick, a mask can help prevent droplets from spreading when you sneeze or cough, so it will not infect other people. The Sanitary Authorities have asked the healthy people who do not accumulate masks because the priority is that health care providers have them and may experience a shortage if the general public buys them.

8. Call as soon as possible. If you have cold or flu symptoms, call your doctor at phone numbers free authorized for this purpose by the different Autonomous Communities instead of rush to urgent care or to the emergency department. Do not Go to the hospital or medical center without telling the health care providers before, you could infect other people.

9. Stay up-to-date by consulting reliable sources. Check back regularly for updates, and follow the mainstream media and health authorities, such as WHO and the Ministry of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare.

10. Stay at home