PRESS RELEASE : Patients with Scleroderma more vulnerable to COVID-19
June 29th – World Scleroderma Day
Patients with Scleroderma more vulnerable to COVID-19
FESCA, the Federation of European Scleroderma Associations celebrates another World Scleroderma Day with an awareness campaign for the people with scleroderma, also known as Systemic Sclerosis.
Scleroderma is a rare autoimmune and chronic disease that affects the body by hardening connective tissue. The damage affects the skin and also internal organs, such as the lungs, the heart and the kidneys. Patients quality of life is severely affected: breathing, eating and even smiling can become very difficult.
Early diagnosis is vital. If you experience reflux, have swollen puffy fingers and your hands change color, don’t delay and contact your doctor!
It can appear at any age, but it is more frequent in women between 30 and 50 years old. The skin and internal organs can be damaged by this disease. Scleroderma can be life threatening and currently there is no cure. However, successful treatments are available for individual organs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to redefine our campaign message and to highlight the importance of protecting patients with scleroderma, particularly those with lung involvement and those on immunosuppressive medication, since they have reduced immunity and are vulnerable to having more severe symptoms if they contract the virus”, said Sue Farrington, President of Fesca.
A video, and other graphic materials are part of our campaign and will be shared by 28 associations in 22 countries to raise public awareness and understanding among national and international authorities and institutions.
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Article by doctor Susana Oliveira, graduated Hospital Assistant and Systemic Sclerosis Consulting Coordinator at the Professor Doutor Fernando Fonseca Hospital
Artikel von Maria José Guimarães, Pulmonologin, Koordinatorin des pneumologischen Dienstes des Krankenhauses von Luz-Guimarães.
Opinion article by Dr. Maria José Guimarães, Pulmonologist, Coordinator of the Pneumology Service of the Luz-Guimarães Hospital