Since Arthritis patients are more susceptible to a cold and flu (any contagious disease for that matter) because of their already lowered immune system, they need to be extra cautious when going out in public. Most patients are on DMARDs which lowers the immune system even more.
I fully understand, sympathize and empathize. The likelihood to catch the H1N1 virus at this time is great and the effects can be disastrous. Searching the Internet about preventative measures and what to do in case you do come down with the Swine flu, I came across the following recommendations:
- Get enough sleep; lack of sleep will lead to a weakened immune system. - Make sure you get a yearly flu shot and a Pneumoccal Vaccine. - Take Tamiflu if you develop signs or symptoms of influenza. - Continue your treatments with DMARDs and biologics. - Wear a mask in public; preferably a N95 mask.
I also read that the Rheumatoid Arthritis drug abatacept (Orencia) has shown to fight the Swine flu infection. So far however, this conclusion is based on a study conducted on mice and not humans.
Of course all the other preventing measures like washing your hands regularly, stay away from someone with a cold or flu, etc. are all in order. I could not find any other specifics, but I hope this is of some help.
My Rheumatologist did not receive any vaccine at all. They don't even know when they will finally get it. The nurse also told me that I could not have the nasal spray; I needed the injections to kill the virus. She would let me know when it arrived.
What that means is caution, prevention and more caution. If anyone has more tips or knows more then what I already posted on H1N1, then I would appreciate the sharing. We all may have a small part and together we may come to a full understanding of how best to avoid and prevent us from getting this virus.
It can occur that even after we shared our knowledge, we still don't fully understand. It sometimes is difficult how best to approach or deal with a matter and what actions to take. God does and He is more then happy to give us what we need. All it takes is prayers and asking Him.
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.