The members of the International FPIES Association’s Medical Advisory Board are reaching out to the FPIES community to provide information and comfort in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are all worried by the scope and spread of the coronavirus infection. We are saddened by the news from China, Italy, and other countries with the affected patients and fatalities, but are hopeful that the public health authorities in the United State will do everything possible to effectively contain COVID-19.
As we brace for the increasing impact of COVID-19 in the United States, here are important facts to remember:
- The disease is mild in 95% of the infected people with symptoms of low-grade fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and cough.
- There are no reported fatalities in children younger than 10 years; the fatality rate between 10-40 years is comparable to the fatality rate from influenza infection.
- Infected children usually have no symptoms; however, children can spread the disease to the elderly, e.g., grandparents, so it is prudent to limit their contacts in the coming weeks.
- The risks factors for a more severe disease include older age, underlying medical conditions such as serious heart disease, severe asthma, malignancy, immunosuppression, or organ transplantation.
- There is no reason to suspect that FPIES could predispose to a more severe COVID-19 infection.
- It is important to wash your hands frequently, avoid overcrowded places, and follow the instructions from the local health authorities.
- It is prudent to prepare a supply of safe foods for your child in case of potential shortages.
- Children may feel anxious with all the changes around them. Remember to remain calm and reassuring. Take time to address questions and concerns.
- Monitor television and social media viewing.
- Keep your routine as normal as possible.
- Focus on what they can do: wash hands, social distancing, coughing and sneezing into their elbow.
By I-FPIES Medical Advisory Board Chair Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn, MD, PhD, and I-FPIES Medical Advisor Theresa Bingemann, MD