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Asthma and COVID-19

Sharing some information from the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology:

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is scary for all people, but for those with asthma there is great fear that they will have a worse outcome or be more likely to get SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Yet it is important for patients to understand what the current data on asthma and COVID-19 is saying.

At this time, there is no evidence of increased infection rates in those with asthma.

There has been one report—a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from April 8—suggesting that asthma may increase the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 in 18-49 year-old adults; however, this is based on a small number of patients. And in the opposite direction are data from several cities/countries with high COVID-19 infections where asthma was under-represented in those who died from COVID-19.

In the current pandemic, the best thing a person with asthma can do is to get and keep their asthma under control. Stopping a controller medication will put the person at risk for developing an asthma exacerbation, and treatment of an exacerbation will likely require going to the emergency department or urgent care, where the individual has a much higher risk of being exposed to someone with COVID-19.

There are other misconceptions being circulated on asthma and COVID-19, including:

Early reports of systemic corticosteroids being associated with death from COVID-19 are being extrapolated to include ALL steroids as being dangerous. However, inhaled corticosteroids are safe and necessary for patients with asthma to continue to use in order to prevent exacerbation.

The bottom line for people with asthma during this pandemic is to keep doing what you have been doing all along—continue taking your controller medication and inform your healthcare provider of any symptoms that you may develop. And of course, remember to practice social distancing and wash your hands.

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