Dear Myositis Community,

The Myositis Association is following reports from the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the country’s health protection agency, about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 called COVID-19. On March 3 rd , TMA shared and posted on our home page a Coronavirus Blog   with recommendations by Dr. Rohit Aggarwal, Chair of TMA’s Medical Advisory Board, to assist our community to take appropriate precautions. As a result of continued widespread infection and increased risk, these recommendations are being elevated to include the following for all myositis patients as people with myositis are predisposed (at greater risk) to infections.

  • Avoid all travel in next 4-6 weeks. 
  • Stay at home as much as possible. If possible have food, drugs, and other necessities delivered. 
  • Avoid having friends and extended family members over for the next 4-6 weeks. 

We urge the myositis community to adhere to these recommendations in an effort to reduce the likelihood of contact to the virus and to avoid spread of the disease.

Jim Mathews, Chair of the Board of Directors states “We offer prayers to those affected by COVID-19 worldwide. These are challenging times for everyone, but especially myositis patients, who fall into a higher risk population. Please keep yourselves and your families safe by following the above recommendations by our Medical Advisory Board and   CDC precautions to protect against coronavirus and to stay healthy during this outbreak.”

Given the current status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, TMA announced to its Support Group Leaders last week that TMA is cancelling all in-person support group meetings until further notice. This decision was made in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and NIH, to avoid large gatherings to help reduce risk of exposure and in an effort to ensure the safety of our leaders, as well as our support group members. The official statement can be found here .  

We understand this may be difficult, especially during such a challenging time, when support is needed the most. Support Group Leaders have been encouraged to use Zoom when possible for support group meetings. In addition, they will be reaching out individually to group members through phone calls, emails or text, to offer individual support and or to activate others in their groups to do the same.  

Staff are committed to providing you the best service and support we can during this time. Staff will remain available working remotely. Please be patient with us if our responses are slightly delayed due to adjusting to the new work setup. We will not be receiving mail from the Post Office or any UPS or Federal Express packages at this time.

Below are some sources that will help ensure you stay up to date with accurate information and recommendations from the experts: 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Resources:

A Message from the American College of Rheumatology about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Dr. Aggarwal released a video yesterday on the coronavirus and can be found here.  

Sending you all best wishes during this challenging time,

The Myositis Association

Mary E. McGowan
Executive Director