Does rheumatoid arthritis cause a weakened immune system?

The short answer is because sometimes RA itself, as well as the medicines you take, can lower your body’s immune response to infection. This means your body is not as responsive to germs that cause colds, the flu and, yes, COVID-19.

Am I at risk for COVID-19 if I have rheumatoid arthritis?

If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you’re more likely to get certain infections. That means you may have a higher chance of getting COVID-19. If you do get sick, your symptoms could be more serious than someone who doesn’t have RA.

Can COVID-19 trigger autoimmune disease?

Yes. In research studies, there is a connection between COVID-19 and autoimmune conditions. We don’t know for sure why this happens. It’s possible that a COVID-19 infection confuses your immune system, and causes it to attack your own body.

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Can a weakened immune system increase the risk of COVID-19 infection?

A weakened immune system or other conditions such as lung disease, obesity, advanced age, diabetes and heart disease can put people at increased risk for coronavirus infection and more severe cases of COVID-19.

Can people with autoimmune conditions get the COVID-19 vaccine?

People with autoimmune conditions may receive a COVID-19 vaccine. However, they should be aware that no data are currently available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people with autoimmune conditions. People from this group were eligible for enrollment in some of the clinical trials.

Who is most at risk for severe illness from COVID-19?

COVID-19 can cause mild to severe illness. This can result in someone being admitted to the hospital and even an intensive care unit. It can even cause death. People who are infected often have symptoms of illness. Older adults and people of any age who have certain underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. This includes people with serious heart conditions, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease (or undergoing dialysis), liver disease, chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, or people who have a weakened immune system (immunocompromised).

When could multisystem inflammatory syndrome start as a result of COVID-19 in children?

MIS-C may begin weeks after a child is infected with SARS-CoV-2. The child may have been infected from an asymptomatic contact and, in some cases, the child and their caregivers may not even know they had been infected.

Can COVID-19 damage organs?

UCLA researchers are the first to create a version of COVID-19 in mice that shows how the disease damages organs other than the lungs. Using their model, the scientists discovered that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can shut down energy production in cells of the heart, kidneys, spleen and other organs.

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Can COVID-19 cause other neurological disorders?

In some people, response to the coronavirus has been shown to increase the risk of stroke, dementia, muscle and nerve damage, encephalitis, and vascular disorders. Some researchers think the unbalanced immune system caused by reacting to the coronavirus may lead to autoimmune diseases, but it’s too early to tell.

Are immunocompromised individuals more vulnerable to COVID-19?

People who are immunocompromised in a manner similar to those who have undergone solid organ transplantation have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases, and they are especially vulnerable to infections, including COVID-19.

What are some groups in higher risk of developing serious symptoms of COVID-19?

The risk of developing dangerous symptoms of COVID-19 may be increased in people who are older and also in people of any age who have other serious health problems — such as heart or lung conditions, weakened immune systems, obesity, or diabetes.

How does exposure to COVID-19 increase the risk of infection?

The risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection varies according to the amount of virus to which a person is exposed. Once infectious droplets and particles are exhaled, they move outward from the source. The risk for infection decreases with increasing distance from the source and increasing time after exhalation.

Should you get vaccinated for COVID-19 If you have an underlying health condition?

Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for and can be administered to most people with underlying medical conditions.

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Who should not get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine?

If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction, even if it was not severe, to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (such as polyethylene glycol), you should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

What are medical reasons for not getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

Some individuals may have medical reasons which prevent them from getting a vaccine. Medical exemptions may include allergies to vaccine components, a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome, or other health ailments that make the vaccine risky for the individual.

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