10 Measures People with Fibromyalgia Should take in this COVID-19 Epidemic

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Coronaviruses (COVID-19) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Most of what is known about the risk factors for COVID-19 is based on what’s been reported out of China, where the novel coronavirus outbreak originated and an overwhelming majority of cases and deaths have occurred. Here are two groups that seem to be especially vulnerable:

Older adults

The majority of deaths from coronavirus have been in the elderly, Dr. Adalja says. “Above age 50 is when you start to see more severe complications,” he explains, adding that older patients have a harder time recovering, similar to to the flu.

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People with underlying health conditions

People with underlying health conditions are at a higher-than-normal risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19, Dr. Adalja says. When your body is already dealing with a separate health condition, it has less energy to put toward fighting an acute infection, he explains. The CDC says these conditions include:

  • Blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease or taking blood thinners
  • Chronic kidney disease, as defined by your doctor
  • Chronic liver disease, as defined by your doctor
  • Compromised immune system, including undergoing cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, having received an organ or bone marrow transplant, or taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, and HIV or AIDS
  • Current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks
  • Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease, including asthma
  • Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions

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We asked a question to our group members that “What measure people with fibromyalgia should take in this Corona epidemic? and what have you done to keep yourself save? Any suggestions for others”. Lots of members participated in the thread and share their suggestion with us.

Here is what community shared with us related to COVID-19:

1.  Social distancing as much as possible in this Covid-19 epidemic, wash your hands. Try not to worry or stress to much. Do online shopping– Rachelle

2. Since no one can find hand sanitizer, I put Bounty paper towels (cut in 1/4) in a ziplock bag and soak with alcohol. I use it whenever I touch anything outside of the house. Keypads are a nightmare. – Karen

3. Eat healthy as you can, stock up on your meds, and take a walk outside if you can. I’ve been doing spring clean up in my yard, a little each day, and it’s the best medicine for me.  -Trish

4. I’ve stocked up on herbal remedies that fight viral infections in this COVID-19 epidemic. As of midnight we’re on quarantine except to get essentials. Doing in home exercises and trying to de stress. – Michelle

5. The only thing i would be a tiny bit concerned about is the use of anti inflammatory drugs (if u take them for pain or other conditions) as it Can make the virus worse. I’m in France and we are facing a complete lock down like Italy soon. Keep up on your vitamins and water and rest with gentle stretching if you can’t go out. -Natacha

Also read: Helpful tips for cleaning and organizing when you have fibromyalgia

6. Soap and water works better then any hand sanitizer.  Load up on Vitamin c, zinc, grape seed, olive leaf, probiotics to fight the COVID-19 – Adraina

7. Keep your stress down. Stress weakens your immune system more than fibro does. – Sarah

8. I’ve also suffered from EBV since I was a kid, for which the doctors feel that’s why I developed Fibro, soooooo, I am at risk.. that being said, I refuse to live completely under a rock due to fear mongering. I’m leaving my house today to try to forage for food. I’ll just wash my hands and stay away from folks. If it’s my time, then there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. There’s not a store close to me that offers delivery that even has any groceries, so it’s off to the smaller stores to try to feed my family – Stacey

9.  I have stopped taking ibuprofen even though that’s my best tablet for pain. And started taking vitamin C , vitamin D and eating healthy, try walking etc and try not to keep reading and stressing has will make us worse  – Sally.  {Source for ibuprofen: AFP.}

10. Honestly if you’re not immune compromised I think you should follow CDC recommend and the World Health Recommendations. I have also seen some great recommendations from the news. So positive things. I’m washing my hands frequently.

I’m using grocery pickup services which means it is taking longer to get my groceries and I’m not exactly getting what I want but I am avoiding contact with “large” groups of people & mostly getting my list filled. When we come home from work and kids from school (but they just closed) all our stuff goes straight to the wash and when it’s full I run it.

Everyone washes their hands when they come in the house, when we walk in the store if we needed to go, we have pocket hand sanitizer to use in case, I spray my most used surfaces with Lysol a few times a day but also wipe them down. I bought some board games to keep ya occupied in the house. We are doing spring cleaning projects – taking one cabinet and purging expired projects and organizing. Calling it our social distancing spring cleaving projects.

I’ve been crotchet for a bit- still not catching on. That’s so I can control my stress and anxiety. I’ve been praying in the mornings ? and I have a breathing app on my phone to help keep me centered if I feel overwhelmed! So really we are just avoiding unnecessary trips and contact, washing our clothes after public outings, keeping our hands clean. No one in our house is immune compromised thankfully – I’m just extra sore with fibro on top of a few other crummy medical things. Stay positive – Brandi

Note: These responses are from people living with fibromyalgia. Follow the directions of CDC or WHO related to COVID-19 . In case of serious condition, consult your emergency helpline

Fibromyalgia will not make you vulnerable to this virus. If your social interactions are curtailed due to fibromyalgia, you may be at less risk than the majority of people. Those that are older, or have other co-morbid conditions including those that do compromise the immune system, these people will need to judge their individual risk. It’s a disorder of the central nervous system, not autoimmune

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Also Read:

Fibromyalgia is Official Recognized by the Social Security Administration – Federal Registrar,US

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  • Coronoviruis via WHO
  • Novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) – ECDC

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