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The current outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 infection provides countless unprecedented challenges—also with regard to the management of patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease. In an attempt to provide guidance, the German Society of Rheumatology instructed its commission for pharmacotherapy (Kommission Pharmakotherapie) to develop up-to-date recommendations for the management of patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic. As to date there are little, if any, evidence-based data to scientifically justify guidance, the present preliminary recommendations are based on an expert consensus by 17 experienced rheumatologists in Germany, taking into account analogies to the procedures for other, longer known viral infections, theoretical considerations and already known facts about the SARS-CoV-2 infection. A deviation from these recommendations may be useful in each individual case. The recommendations will be updated frequently (www.dgrh.de). Every physician should also be aware of novel developments while the infection proceeds.
1. Prevention of infection
1.1. Patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases may have an increased risk of infection (box 1). Whether this also applies to SARS-CoV-2 infections is not known. It is also not known whether COVID-19 is more severe in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases or whether immunosuppressive …
Handling editor Josef S Smolen
Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. The first affiliations has been amended.
Collaborators Gerd Burmester, Peer Aries, Christoph Fiehn, Bimba Hoyer, Andreas Krause, Jan Leipe, Hanns-Martin Lorenz, Frank Moosig, Matthias Schneider, Philipp Sewerin, Anna Voormann, Ulf Wagner.
Contributors All authors have provided the initial draft, led the discussion and corrected the text.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.