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Inflammatory Arthritis and COVID 19: What You Need to Know

COVID-19 has significantly impacted every community ever since the pandemic first began. Throughout these many long months, scientists and doctors have made new discoveries pertaining to the virus, such as who is most at risk and how vaccination can reduce the chances of severe illness in some individuals. Those suffering from inflammatory arthritis (and it’s related diseases) might have heard the correlations between their overall health and the virus. 

Here is an overview of the possible connections found between rheumatoid arthritis and COVID-19.

Can COVID-19 Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by inflammation within the synovial joints of the body. While some viral infections have been shown to precede the first episode of RA, there is no indication that COVID-19 can specifically activate the inflammatory processes associated with RA.  

There are a variety of noteworthy connections between COVID-19 and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Some of these correlations and similarities include:

  • COVID patients exhibit symptoms of inflammation that bear a resemblance to arthritis because TLR7 receptors are proteins encoded into the genome and are present in innate immune cells and are impacted by the virus.
  • Ambient respiratory viral infections have been shown to be correlated with rheumatoid arthritis cases.

The most recent evidence suggests that patients with RA who develop COVID-19 – generally have a harder time to recover and more severe symptoms. This is especially true if the patient’s disease is not well controlled at the time of COVID-19 infection. Further, since all of the standard treatments for RA are focused on suppressing the immune system — vaccination is far more complicated compared to the normal population.  

Are Those With Rheumatoid Arthritis More At Risk of COVID-19 Infections?

The American College of Rheumatology has updated its clinical guidelines for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and infected with COVID-19. Although rapid advancements in the treatment of COVID-19 infections have been developed, additional research is needed to determine the extent at which RA patients are more or less susceptible to infection. Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis should consult with their physician to get the most up-to-date information regarding treatment and prevention of COVID-19.

Whether you need the assistance of a top rheumatoid arthritis doctor or are looking for an infusion treatment center in the Southern Jersey and Philadelphia area, consult Arthritis, Rheumatic, & Bone Disease Associates today! We’ll help guide you in making the right decisions for your health.