COVID-19 and Asthma: Everything You Need to Know

COVID-19 and Asthma

The COVID-19 pandemic is gradually revealing new aspects of itself and how it affects people with various underlying medical conditions.

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The novel coronavirus infection can cause a range of respiratory issues, but to certain people, it is life-threatening.

In most people, they experience mild or no symptoms at all, but specific individuals may suffer severe cases of COVID-19. People with asthma are mostly in great fear of severe COVID 19 illness because their respiratory function is already impaired.

Although there is no evidence to prove that there is an increased rate of infection in asthma patients, persons with asthma whose controller medications are a steroid may find it scary to continue the use of controller because they may have heard that steroids are not advised to be used as the treatment for COVID-19.

However, asthma patients should not discontinue the use of their controller, and they should use it more because they should always keep their asthma under control.

People with asthma to continue using their prescribed medications, including inhaled corticosteroids, to control asthma symptoms and reduce the risk of experiencing severe COVID-19  complications.

What Is the COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease of the coronavirus family that primarily affects the respiratory system of humans.

However, the symptoms of this illness vary depending on the severity of the condition.

Symptoms of COVID-19

The symptoms of covid-19 majorly depend on how severe the condition is. New symptoms are beginning discovered, but below are the most popular ones

General symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Feeling tired and weak

Other symptoms may include:

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  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Diarrhoea and nausea
  • Pinkeye
  • Painful blue or purple lesions on toes
  • Rashes

Emergency symptoms

These symptoms are the kinds that when you experience, then you should call your doctor as soon as possible;

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Sharp chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Bluish tint on lips, face or fingernails

The symptoms, as mentioned above, may worsen asthma, so it is imperative to continue using your asthma controller.

How Does COVID-19 Spread?

COVID-19 spread from persons to persons by direct contact. A person can pick up this virus by when the droplets from infected individuals get into another person’s body.

Therefore, you are advised to wear face cloth or mask whenever you are in public places to curb the spread of COVID-19.

You can as well get infected when you touch contaminated objects (This virus can live up to 72 hours on an inanimate object) and allow them to gain access to your body.

That is why you are advised to stop touching your face and always wash your hands with soap and water. In cases where you can not wash your hands with soap and water, you can use an alcohol-based sanitizer.

It is recommended that you clean and disinfect areas and surfaces often touched.

Who Is at Risk From COVID-19?

Persons with other underlying conditions like lung cancer, heart problems, and asthma are most likely to be hospitalized if they contract COVID-19; Although information got suggests that there is a low fatality rate amongst persons with COVID-19 and asthma.

Vulnerable groups

These are groups that are at a  higher risk of suffering severe COVID-19 or might be hospitalized.

  • Persons aged 65 and above
  • Persons living in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Pregnant women
  • Persons with other chronic medical conditions, especially if they are not well-controlled. Conditions such as; body mass index (BMI) that is 40 and above, Serious heart conditions, Diabetes, chronic kidney disease and on dialysis, liver disease, immunosuppressed persons, such as HIV patients and those on cancer treatments and asthma.

Generally, persons with asthma are advised to take extra precautions when there is an outbreak of any type of respiratory disease close by.

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Respiratory infections, such as flu and COVID-19; But once you exhibit symptoms of the conditions, you are advised to contact your doctor right away.

Guidelines for people at high risk (including persons with asthma):

  • Stock up on necessary supplies
  • Maintaining social distancing of about 6 feet
  • Stay away from persons who seem unwell sick
  • Limit your contact with people
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid frivolous travel
  • Clean and disinfect your home and car regularly, especially surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs, bolts, light switches, cell phones, door handles and steering wheels, etc.

Seasonal allergies have adverse effects on persons with allergic asthma. Allergies can trigger asthma symptoms; therefore, you have to religiously follow your allergy treatment plan just to control your allergies and to prevent future asthma attacks.

How best to handle asthma in the time of COVID 19

The best way to handle COVID-19 and asthma is by taking the necessary precautions to avoid contracting COVID-19 is by doing the following:

  • Keeping your asthma under control by sticking to your medications should be prioritized.
  • If you ever feel unwell of experience symptoms about flu or COVID-19, you are advised to call your doctor immediately.
  • Check for travel precautions and follow them strictly If you must travel.

Extra Precautions for People with Asthma

Prevention is better than cure. Hence preventing COVID-19 is better than treating it since it currently does not have a cure. The precautions listed are simple and easy to follow:

  • You should adopt maximum hygiene and minimize interpersonal interaction
  • Sticking to your asthma medications while following an asthma action plan.

We hope that you have found this article helpful? Kindly leave a comment below

References;

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know; AAFA
  • Covid-19 and asthma: what patients need to know; AAAAI
Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.