Expert Advice on Coronavirus Risk in Immunocompromised Patients With Rheumatic Diseases

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization.1

Among the populations likely to be at higher risk of developing severe infections are patients with rheumatic diseases, including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), scleroderma, undifferentiated connective tissue disease, and vasculitis.2 Medications for the management of rheumatologic conditions are typically known to be immunosuppressants, making patients more vulnerable to infection with viruses like the coronavirus. Experts note that clinicians need to exercise more caution with these patients.3