Conditions and diseases

Immune-mediated inflammatory diseases or disorders (IMID)

Symptoms and causes

IMID covers in principle all autoimmune disorders that typically concern the fields of gastroenterology, rheumatology and dermatology.

Information for IMID patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government is asking the entire Belgian population to follow basic hygiene measures carefully. These measures are available on the website https://www.info-coronavirus.be/ pm or on the information telephone line 0800 14689 (8am - 8pm)
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A. General information
  • There are currently no data to suggest that the immunosuppressive therapy or biotherapies used to treat chronic inflammatory diseases increase the risk of contracting a Covid-19 infection.
  • There are currently no data indicating that the immunosuppressants or biotherapies used to treat chronic inflammatory diseases increase the severity and/or duration of a Covid-19 infection.
  • The severity of a Covid-19 infection is sometimes associated with secondary bacterial infections, hence the importance of being up-to-date on recommended vaccinations (pneumococcal vaccination, influenza vaccination).
  • There is no recommended prophylactic treatment, but limiting your social contacts and observing social distancing will help reduce the risk of an infection.
B. If you do not have any symptoms
  1. Do not interrupt your treatment for preventive purposes, because you run the risk of a gradual resumption of your inflammatory disease.
  2. Follow the standard Covid-19 guidelines for infection prevention:
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and/or use an alcohol-based solution especially before meals, after leaving your home and after using the toilet.
  • Do not shake hands or kiss when greeting others. Do not touch your face or mouth with your hands.
  • Travel abroad: follow government recommendations, more info can be found here.
  • Do not forget to wash your hands thoroughly after visiting public places.
C. If you have symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing)
  1. First contact your GP or attending physician by telephone or e-mail. She or he will guide you on what you should do.
  2. Do not directly go to your GP, your physician at the hospital or the A&E if your clinical condition allows it.
  3. The decision to stop or maintain your treatment will be taken on a case-by-case basis by your specialist, in collaboration with an infectious diseases specialist.
  4. Wear a surgical mask to protect the people around you.
  5. Follow the standard Covid-19 guidelines for infection prevention:
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water and/or use an alcohol-based solution especially before meals, after leaving your home and after using the toilet.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Use disposable tissues and throw them in the rubbish immediately.
  • Avoid contact within two metres of other people and do not touch your face or mouth with your hands.
D. Organising an IMID consultation and IV visits
  • The consultations will be held as planned.
  • Patients receiving intravenous therapy at the day hospital must continue their treatment as prescribed by their physician.
  • Patients receiving oral or subcutaneous treatment must continue their treatment and ensure that their pharmacy has sufficient supplies.

Latest publication date: 06/07/2021