Salisbury community member asking for awareness

SALISBURY, Md. – One member of the Salisbury community is asking people to be more aware of how they could be impacting those with compromised immune systems. “People need to realize this is not the same as the flu and that you can’t tell who is or is not at higher risk,” said Kevin Kreutner.

Kreutner is living with an autoimmune disease called pemphigus vulgaris, which causes his antibodies to attack protein in his skin. He says right now he’s taking precautions in order to protect himself from COVID-19 and other illnesses. “I’m pretty much self quarantining. I’m trying to not leave the house other than walk my dog and exercising social distancing out there. Doing a lot of sanitizing,” said Kreutner.

Kreutner tells 47 ABC that people should remember that vulnerable immune systems aren’t always a condition that you can see just by looking at someone. He also says he’s working with his doctors to find the best possible treatment plan for his condition while also staying safe from COVID-19. The way that some medications could react with the virus isn’t yet known.

Those precautions involves the crew at 47 ABC. In order to help as safe as possible, equipment was cleaned and hands were sanitized. The interview was held outside to prevent any outside sickness from coming into Kreutner’s home.

He says he’s weighing an important decision: Whether he should risk going to a hospital to get the chemotherapy he needs, and possibly coming across COVID-19, or if he should wait until more is known about how to stay safe from the virus. “I’m worried about what happens in a couple months if I do need treatment. Will I still be able to get it? And how much of a greater risk might it be for me to go into a hospital,” said Kreutner.

Medical professionals say that it’s important to keep people with vulnerable immune systems in mind as COVID-19 spreads. “People at risk those are the people we have to protect,” said Dr. Walter Gianelle, physician at Your Doc’s In.

Doctors say if a person with a compromised immune system does become infected with the virus, it would inflame their lungs. That would stop oxygen transfer to the blood. Doctors recommend people who are immunodeficient should be extra careful of interacting with people, and avoid touching surfaces in public.

Dr. Gianelle says that for people with conditions like Kreutner, it’s better safe than sorry. “I would recommend that they were a mask when they’re out in the community or when they’re out at the store – when they’re around other people – because the distance thing we’re talking about, three to six feet, it ain’t happening,” said Dr. Gianelle.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, Maryland