COVID-19 Update

12 Mar 2020 11:23 AM | Anonymous

COVID-19 - Update


COVID-19 

We acknowledge that everyone is worried about corona. What is it and what do we know about it?  Covid-19 is a newly emerged virus from the corona family that has been spreading in some parts of Asia and more recently in Europe with a few mostly imported cases being documented in cities in the USA the Caribbean (two cases confirmed in Jamaica) and has been declared a pandemic by the WHO. 

Presentation

It causes flu-like symptoms that in some cases (less than 5 %) have resulted in respiratory (lung) complications that in some cases have been fatal.  However, it has been noted that a greater proportion of the more severe cases have been in older persons and those with chronic conditions including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or respiratory diseases

While we do not know if any lupus patients have been affected, we know generally that persons with lupus are more vulnerable to infections due to the disease itself and well as some of the medications used to control it. 

What should you do?

 

a)  Avoid Infection

Make every precaution to avoid infection:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water (palm, between fingers and back of hand for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home when you are sick.
  • Sensitise your household members and co-workers about the above as this will also help to reduce your risk of infection.
  • Travel internationally only when necessary and with proper assessment of the risk in the area and with the appropriate precautions.  Be advised by your doctor.  If booking some time forward, take out travel insurance in case you need to reschedule.

Managing Lupus Medications during Covid-19 

It is important to know how to manage your meds.

 

  • Do not stop your medications because you are worried about getting coronavirus.  Being on steroids and medicines known as "immunosuppressives" like azathioprine (imuran, Azoran) or mycophenylate mofetil (cellcept) can lower your body's defenses to viruses.  On the other hand having a flare of your lupus disease also lowers the defenses, with persons with lupus having the highest risk of infection and succombing to infection, during a flare.  So stopping these medicines may not help your situation.  Also you might end up needing even higher doses of medicines including steroids to get back under control.
  • On the other hand, should you develop an infection or suspected infection, some of your medications may need to be adjusted or stopped.  Your doctor will need to advise you and closely monitor your lupus in this case.
  • Take hydroxychloroquine even if you are sick.  Hydroxychloroquine is one of the medications recommended for lupus patients to help keep lupus stable (prevent flares) Hydroxychloroquine is not "immunosuppressive" ie lowering ones defenses and does not need to be stopped during an infection.  In fact it is being tried by some doctors in asia for covid cases which could potentially affect supply, so make sure you are properly stocked.

 

Know the signs so you can recognise them in yourself or others.

Covid-19 virus can cause mild to severe respiratory illness

Symptoms can include

  • fever
  • cough 
  • shortness of breath

and may occur 2-14 days after exposure (contact with the person or surface that transmitted the virus)

Seek medical advice 

  • if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or 
  • if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

 

Educate others.  Preventing spread if everyone's business:  

Avoid spreading the virus in the same way you avoid contracting the virus

 wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; going to the bathroom and before eating or preparing food

  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • stay home when you are sick
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then thow the tissue in the trash

 

References

cdc.com

who.int

jis.gov.jm

moh.gov.jm

 

Helpful links:

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/share-facts.html

hhttps://jis.gov.jm/jamaica-and-the-coronavirus/

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

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Miss Jamaica World Khalia Hall to join with Government and Medical Societies to support World Lupus Day Observance


Khalia Hall, the reigning Miss Jamaica World, is demonstrating the philosophy of Beauty with a Purpose as she lends her time and influence to the cause of Lupus Awareness.

Miss Jamaica World is one of several well-known personalities that have endorsed the efforts of the Foundation over the years to promote awareness about Lupus.  “I feel grateful to be able to use my platform as Miss Jamaica World to help the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica to raise awareness around this debilitating disease.” 

On May 10, Lupus Foundation of Jamaica will be joining in with lupus groups across the world in observance of  World Lupus Day 2022 under their own theme LUPUS LEVEL UP: Make Lupus Visible.  According to Dr Desiree Tulloch-Reid, President, the campaign will have an Island wide reach through media interviews and promotions, poster displays, a social media campaign and Awareness walks dubbed “Make Strides for Lupus” across the Island and will culminate in a World Lupus Day Ceremony and mini-health fair at Emancipation Park, New Kingston, on May 10, 2022.  “We will be engaging all our members, supporters, media partners, Government, community organisations, the public at large and all our online and social media to increase awareness of lupus, specifically this year emphasising the impact of lupus on the body’s organs.”  

Ms Hall will be supporting the LUPUS LEVEL Up campaign by a video endorsement for social media and being photographed in the purple T-shirt bearing the Campaign theme.  She will also attend the Foundation’s key event, a free mini-health fair at Emancipation Park, and take part in an official Opening Ceremony at 12:00 pm in tandem with the  Minister of State in the Ministry of Health & Wellness, Hon Juliette Cuthbert-Flynn who will declare the event open.

Also present at the free event at Emacipation Park will be representatives of several health Professional Associations including Medical Association of Jamaica, Dermatology Association of Jamica, Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica and Jamaica Physiotherapy Association as well as Mandeville Regional Hospital Nephrology Unit, who will interact with the public and provide health talks and demonstrations.  National Health Fund will provide free health screening in tandem with the Diabetes Association of Jamaica.  A live broadcast on Riddim FM 102 with host Vernon Derby will also feature conversations with health professionals, volunteers and persons living with Lupus, as well as reports from participants in awareness walks and other activities across the Island.

The public is invited to wear purple on Tuesday May 10 in solidarity, to participate in local activities and make donations to the Foundation towards support services for persons with Lupus. Further information is available at the Foundation’s website www.lupusfoundationjamaica.org or by contacting 8767548458.


7 Barbados Avenue
Kingston 5, Jamaica, W.I.
876-754-8458

Helpline
876-778-3892 (Voice/Text/Whatsapp)

Email: info@lupusfoundationjamaica.org


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