October Arthritis News Roundup

The Arthritis Foundation is your trusted source for information, and we’re staying on top of the latest arthritis-related news that could affect you. Here’s what you need to know about some of the headlines from this past month.

CDC Expands Definition of COVID-19 Exposure From ‘Close Contact’
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidelines related to COVID-19 exposure, warning that the risk of multiple, brief, close contact encounters with others who are positive for COVID-10 can increase the risk of transmission. The CDC has cautioned against spending 15 minutes or longer in close proximity to an infected person, particularly in enclosed indoor spaces, but now says beware of brief encounters. Read more about this new data and the CDC’s new warnings.

COVID-19 Cases in the U.S.
As a third wave of COVID-19 cases emerge, stay informed of the latest information specific to your state on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website’s COVID data tracker, which provides information on cases reported for the last seven days.

You can also visit the Arthritis Foundation’s Coronavirus and Arthritis Care and Connect resource center for information specific to people with arthritis.

New COVID-19 Cases in Children Continue to Rise
Read more about the latest update on novel coronavirus cases that include over 44,000 more children diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last week. This brings the total number of cases among children to over 741,000 in the United States, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

Halloween and COVID-19
With Halloween in just a few days, you may be wondering how to keep safe from COVID-19 but still have a little fun with the family. Read the guidance the CDC has provided for making trick-or-treating safer.

The Holidays and COVID-19
With the holidays just around the corner, you may be hesitant to make any specific plans. The CDC has also released some general considerations for holiday celebrations and gatherings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Potential Risks for COVID-19 for Patients With Psoriasis Limited But Reassuring
A summary of published research studies from the Coastal Dermatology Symposium reports that the risks posed by COVID-19 infection to patients with psoriasis, including those on therapies that affect immune function are modest at most. The report states that current data generally suggests that most treatments for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis do not meaningfully alter the risk of contracting SARS-CoV2 or having worse course of COVID-19 illness. Read more.

Risk of Self-Harm With Rheumatic Disorders
A recent study found that people with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are at higher risk for self-harm compared to the general population. Researchers report this highlights the need to address emotional well-being, risk factors and to provide appropriate support. Read more about the key findings.

Managing arthritis can be challenging physically and emotionally. The Arthritis Foundation website has many resources and tips to help you manage stress, anxiety and depression. You can also tune in to the Live Yes! With Arthritis podcast for episodes such as — Wellness in Challenging Times, Relationships & Arthritis, Connecting & Staying Active Virtually, Telemental Health and Building a Pain Plan.

Clot Risk With RA
New research suggests that people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at a higher risk of developing blood clots. Read more about how the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) — particularly in those who had high disease activity — was higher for RA patients than the general population.

Self-Directed Physical Therapy Effective After Total Knee Arthroplasty
Results from a new randomized trial research study on physical therapy after a total knee replacement shows no significant difference in outcomes between a group led by a physical therapist versus a group that was self-directed in their exercises. Read more about the findings and how both groups found significant improvements in knee pain and function.

If you’re considering knee replacement surgery, read some tips on 6 Ways to Ensure Joint Surgery Success or tune in to the Live Yes! With Arthritis podcast episode: Arthritis Pain & Surgery.

Early PT for Acute Back Pain and Sciatica Improves Disability
New research shows early physical therapy (PT) to treat acute back pain and sciatica may help to improve disability. Read more about how PT helped patients have better outcomes.

Learn more about the benefits of PT for arthritis and what to expect during treatment. You can also tune in to the Live Yes! With Arthritis podcast episode: Take Control of Back Pain.

Patients with RA at Higher Risk of Developing OA
People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at a higher risk of developing osteoarthritis (OA), based on information from a new study released. Read more about researchers’ findings and why they recommend developing OA prevention strategies.

Even Low-Dose Glucocorticoids Tied to Serious Infection Risk in RA Patients
The use of glucocorticoids in addition to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDS) in adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may cause an increased risk of infection, even at lower doses, based on a new study.

Learn more about corticosteroid use in the treatment of arthritis.

FDA Adds Polyarticular-Course JIA to Approved Indications for Tofacitinib
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved tablet and oral solutions of the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor drug tofactinib (Xeljanz)for the treatment of polyarticular-course juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA). Read more about this approval for children ages 2 and older and for more detail on the indications for use of this drug.

Visit the Arthritis Foundation website for more information, resources and tools to manage juvenile arthritis.

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