Therapies suppressing immune system not associated with higher risk of Covid-19: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on September 16, 2020 Published on September 16, 2020

Immunosuppressed patients are predisposed to upper respiratory illnesses like common cold, coughing, runny nose, and sore throat

According to a study published in the journal American Academy of Dermatology, therapies that suppress the immune system in order to control inflammatory diseases like psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis are not associated with a “significantly greater risk for coronavirus”.

Researchers at the Henry Ford Health System in the United States maintained that patients with inflammatory diseases like psoriasis, eczema and lupus, are at the same risk of contracting the virus as the general population, despite their weak immune system.

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Researchers said that patients who are immunosuppressed are predisposed to upper respiratory illnesses like common cold, which might cause coughing, runny nose, and sore throat. However, they have not been reported being at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19 so far.

The doctors are the first to analyse the relationship between immunosuppressive therapeutics and coronavirus outcomes.

Jesse Veenstra, a Henry Ford dermatologist and the lead author, said in the study: “If you require an immune suppressant medicine for your condition to be well controlled, you should not be afraid to continue that medicine during the pandemic.”

For the study, the researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of 213 patients who were taking immunosuppressive medication for immune-mediated inflammatory disease. These people received medication for at least one month before being tested for Covid-19 between February 1 and April 18.

The study found that 36 per cent of the 213 patients tested Covid-19 positive, and had no higher odds of being hospitalised or placed on a ventilator than the general population.

The researchers further said that they didn’t find any evidence of an immunosuppressive medication increasing a patient’s odds of testing positive or developing serious illness.

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Published on September 16, 2020
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