Lupus & Coronavirus

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a relatively new disease so there is limited information about risk factors for severe infection. Based on current information, older adults and people of any age who have certain underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe infection from the virus.

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What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic (long-term) disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of your body. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system — the body system that usually fights infections — attacks healthy tissue instead.

  • What causes lupus?
  • Types of Lupus
  • Who is at risk for developing lupus?

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Exposure to the sun may bring on lupus skin lesions or trigger an internal response in susceptible people.


Having an infection can initiate lupus or cause a relapse in some people.


Lupus can be triggered by certain types of blood pressure medications, anti-seizure medications and antibiotics.

Risk factors

Lupus is more common in women, Lupus is more common in African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans.

Lupus and your risk of infections

Infections pose a greater risk for people living with lupus. In fact, infections are the second most common major cause of illness and death for people with the disease.

Both lupus itself and some of the medications used to treat it

  • Infection risk factors
  • Opportunistic infections
  • Steps for staying healthy

Read more about infection

Symptoms of Lupus

No two cases of lupus are exactly alike. Signs and symptoms may come on suddenly or develop slowly, may be mild or severe, and may be temporary or permanent.


High Fever

A fever is a body temperature that’s higher than is considered normal. It’s also called a high temperature, hyperthermia, or pyrexia, and it’s usually a sign that your body is working to keep you healthy from an infection.


Swollen Joints

Swollen joints happen when there's an increase of fluid in the tissues that surround the joints. Joint swelling is common with different types of arthritis, infections, and injuries.



As many as 80 percent of people with lupus experience fatigue. For some people with lupus, fatigue is their main symptom.1 Fatigue can be debilitating, even to the point of forcing them to stop working.


Chest pain when breathing deeply

Inflammation caused by lupus may affect the lungs in many ways, and can involve the membrane lining of the lungs, the lungs themselves, the blood vessels within the lungs, and the diaphragm.