Selyne Singh can’t get sick.
If she does, her body will attack not only the virus causing her cold or flu, but her healthy tissues as well. That’s because Singh has lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease.
For people like Singh, catching any kind of illness can quickly turn into a visit to the emergency room. Physicians advise lupus patients to take extra care of themselves by eating healthy, exercising and keeping their hands clean.
By taking those precautions, Singh and others with autoimmune diseases can live otherwise normal lives, even during peak disease periods like flu season.
“I usually get my flu shot,” Singh, who was diagnosed with lupus at 13, said, “and if I don’t get the flu shot, then my doctor definitely makes sure I get my flu shot.”
Despite the potential dangers of coming into contact with many unwashed hands at the University of Florida’s career showcase on Wednesday, Singh said the disease was the last thing on her mind.
“I do yoga. I knit. I love running. Those things are a part of my life,” she said, “and I shouldn’t just stop doing those things just because I have a fear of death.”