Coronavirus (COVID-19) and IBD

As coronavirus grips the world you will probably have lots of questions. This article pulls together links to the latest advice from around the world.


If you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which is under control this doesn’t directly put you at extra risk if you catch COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), but some of the medications you are taking may.

If you are taking an immunosuppressant medication then this may put you at an increased risk of infection and complications from COVID-19.

Immunosuppressant medications include:

  • Some steroids (prednisone, methylprednisolone, hydrocortisone)
  • Immunomodulators (such as azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, methotrexate)
  • Biologics (such as infliximab, adalimumab, golimumab,ustekinumab, vedolizumab)
  • JAK inhibitors (tofacitinib)

If you are taking an immunosuppressant medication the advice is to keep taking your medication (unless specifically told to by your doctor). If you stop taking it you risk a flare of your disease which could lead to other complications and/or hospitalisation. Most countries are also advising that you 'social distance' or 'self isolate'. This means keeping away from other people and crowded areas.

Many charities and organisations around the world are keeping country-specific advice updated on their website. Below are direct links to some of these pages.

We have also published information and resources from the UK IBD Psychologists Network with useful psychology resources to help during this time.

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UK

Tool from the British Society of Gastroenterology to assess your risk group: https://ibdregistry.org.uk/covid-19/

Patient advice - Crohn’s and Colitis UK: https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/news/coronavirus-covid-19-advice

Young patients - CICRA: https://www.cicra.org/news/coronavirus/ and https://www.cicra.org/how-we-can-help/coronavirus/

Advice to clinicians - British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG): https://www.bsg.org.uk/covid-19-advice/

Europe

Patient advice - European Federation of Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA): https://www.efcca.org/en/covid-19

Advice to clinicians - European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO): https://ecco-ibd.eu/publications/covid-19.html

USA

Patient advice - Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America: https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/coronavirus/what-ibd-patients-should-know

Advice to clinicians - American Gastroenterological Association (AGA): https://www.gastro.org/practice-guidance/practice-updates/covid-19

Canada

Patient advice - Crohn’s and Colitis Canada: https://crohnsandcolitis.ca/Living-with-Crohn-s-Colitis/COVID-19-and-IBD

Advice to clinicians - Canadian Association of Gastroenterology: https://www.cag-acg.org/

Australia

Patient advice - Crohn’s & Colitis Australia: https://www.crohnsandcolitis.com.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19-health-alert/

Advice to clinicians - Gastroenterological Society of Australia: https://www.gesa.org.au/resources/covid-19

Worldwide

World Health Organisation daily updates: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

A website has also been set up to report and record cases of COVID-19 among people with IBD: https://covidibd.org/



Do you know of any resources we should add to this page? Get in touch.

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