People with moderate to severe asthma are at a higher risk of getting very sick from coronavirus disease (better known as COVID-19).
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. It causes respiratory-like symptoms like cough, fever, and fatigue. Some people also experience symptoms like sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, headaches, and nausea, or diarrhea.
The disease is primarily spread through direct contact with an infected person when they sneeze or cough. The problem is, there are people who may be positive for COVID-19 but aren’t showing symptoms or are only showing mild symptoms.
As of this writing, there is no cure or vaccine for COVID-19.
Asthma and COVID-19
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with moderate to severe asthma belong to the high-risk group for COVID-19. If you’re asthmatic, this doesn’t mean though that you’re going to get it. It just increases your odds.
If you have asthma, both your immune system and respiratory health are compromised. Either is considered a risk factor in itself. Having both can make the outcome of the infection worse.
It was observed that people with asthma who have been infected with COVID-19 tend to have more severe symptoms compared to those without it.
What to do in this pandemic if you have asthma
If you are asthmatic, it’s important to be well-prepared for COVID-19. This means:
- Stocking up on supplies
- Following social distancing protocols
- Cleaning your hands properly with soap and water or with an alcohol-based sanitizer
- Avoiding non-essential travel
- Avoiding crowds
- Avoiding sick people
- Avoiding sharing personal household items like cups and towel
- Keeping your hands away from your face especially on your eyes, nose, and mouth
It’s also important to have an asthma control action plan. These may include steps like:
- Continuing your current medication, which may include inhalers with steroids
- Discussing any health and treatment concerns with your healthcare provider
- Knowing and avoiding your asthma triggers
If you are having a cough and it’s getting worse, if you’re experiencing difficulty in breathing, or suspecting you have COVID-19, please do not delay in seeking medical help.
Although there is no treatment for COVID-19 right now, it’s important to be examined so you can receive the appropriate attention immediately.