March 12, 2020
From the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (March 12, 2020) – The recent pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 is creating concern and uncertainty for many people, especially those who suffer from asthma. The elderly, and anyone with severe asthma, immunodeficiency or other chronic conditions where the immune system may be compromised, are the most susceptible to viral infections in general and must take precautions against COVID-19.
As allergists, we advise all our patients, especially those with asthma, to remain on their medications. It’s important that your asthma be well controlled, especially now. None of the asthma medications, including inhaled corticosteroids and biologics, have been shown to increase the risk of getting COVID-19. Also, if you become infected with COVID-19, there is no information that being on any of the asthma medications will make it worse. So please stay on all your medications. Contact your allergist if you have any questions, if you find you’re having trouble breathing or your asthma symptoms are becoming more severe.
To date, 80% of cases of COVID-19 are mild and limited in time. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. For now, we are advising those with asthma or who may have immunodeficiency to keep up your treatments. It is important that nebulizers are used and cleaned properly. The most important thing is for your asthma to remain well controlled so you can stay healthy.
The following recommendations from the CDC should be considered:
- Avoid close contact (less than 6 feet) with people who are sick.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Use tissues to cover coughs and sneezes, then discard tissue in the trash.
- Clean/disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- IF YOU ARE SICK, STAY AT HOME!
For information about the COVID-19 pandemic, here are links to sites with up-to-date and valuable information:
- CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- AAFA: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know
- Health.com: Allergies vs. COVID-19: Here’s how to tell the difference
The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.