Covid-19: Asthmatics should take precautions

2020-04-01 06:04
People with asthma are at further risk of Covid-19. Always carry your reliever with you. Photo: Tanya van Zyl

People with asthma are at further risk of Covid-19. Always carry your reliever with you. Photo: Tanya van Zyl

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Are you at further risk of Covid-19 being an asthmatic? The World Health Organisation says yes.

It lists asthma, along with diabetes and heart disease, as conditions that make someone “more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus”.

But there is little definitive evidence to say whether asthma increases the likelihood of catching the virus or of experiencing more severe illness.

“The data that we have so far from other countries does not identify people with asthma as being at risk of getting the virus or having more severe illness with the virus,” said Sebastian Johnston, a professor of respiratory medicine and allergy at the UK National Heart and Lung Institute.

That said, when people with asthma get respiratory infections, it can set off their asthma symptoms. So yes, you do need to be careful and take precautions.

  • To reduce risk of asthma, follow these steps: Take preventative medication daily as prescribed. This will help reduce your risk of an asthma attack being triggered by any respiratory virus, including the coronavirus.) Always carry a reliever with you) If you come down with a cold or flu, or any other respiratory infection, see your doctor and take precautions.) If you smoke, now is a good time to quit. Smoking will increase your risk of contracting Covid-19.) Don’t panic or stress as this can also influence your asthma. Understand your symptoms. Seek medical attention if you feel you need it.
  • If you have asthma, and no symptoms of Covid-19:Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.) Use tissues to wipe your nose or catch a sneeze, then discard them immediately.) Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.) Avoid unnecessary interactions with other people, including large gatherings, shaking hands, hugging and unnecessary.) Carry on with your medication.

For more info, visit www.asthmasa.org.

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