More than 65 million people in the United States live with asthma or allergies to food, drugs or other allergens. About 3,600 people die each year from asthma – deaths that can often be prevented. COVID-19 (the new coronavirus) poses even more danger to people with asthma and allergies.
To kick off National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and for World Asthma Day, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) and the MedicAlert Foundation have partnered to raise awareness and provide resources for people who live with asthma and anaphylaxis.
“Despite advancements in research, medicine and public policy, these chronic conditions are still some of the most costly for individuals and society,” said Kenneth Mendez, AAFA’s CEO and president. “There’s no cure for asthma or allergies. But they can be managed in ways that help avoid the worst outcomes.”
Impacts of COVID-19 on People With Asthma and Allergies
Now more than ever, people with asthma and allergies must actively manage their conditions. People with asthma may be at a higher risk of severe illness and hospital stays if they get COVID-19.
“Given the stress our health systems are under right now, people with asthma and allergies must be extra careful,” said Melanie Carver, AAFA’s vice president of community health and services. “The most important thing you can do is keep your asthma and allergies under control so you avoid a trip to the ER.”
During National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and throughout 2020, we will work as a team to reduce serious asthma attacks and allergic reactions. MedicAlert and AAFA will also work together on COVID-19 resources to help people with asthma and allergies.
ACT for Asthma and Allergy
You can join our efforts by making a pact to ACT for asthma and allergy.
- “A” means you should have an action plan for asthma or anaphylaxis.
- “C” reminds you to carry important medicines and to wear a medical ID to alert others of your condition.
- “T” calls for treatment plans, both for ongoing therapies and emergencies.
We are working together to create an online asthma or anaphylaxis action plan. These plans will be part of the MedicAlert member health profile. It will work like a written action plan, with specific actions to take based on your current symptoms. The online action plan will make it easier for people with allergies or asthma to access to their vital information in an emergency.
“MedicAlert was founded in 1956 because of a near-fatal allergic reaction – so this is in our DNA,” said Josefina Jervis, COO and president of the MedicAlert Foundation. “Having a personalized action plan that can be stored and accessed online is an important safety measure for people with asthma and allergies. In an emergency, MedicAlert will relay the action plan and other critical medical information to first responders to ensure fast and accurate treatment. Someone having an asthma attack or anaphylactic reaction may not be able to talk. MedicAlert can be their voice.”
Planning and preparation are key to staying healthy.
A MedicAlert ID and membership can help protect those with allergies and asthma in the event of an emergency. If you can’t speak for yourself, MedicAlert can be be your voice.
When you enroll in a new MedicAlert membership through this special link or via phone [1.800.432.5378], use the code AAFA and MedicAlert will donate 20% of your membership fees to support our mission to save lives and reduce the burden of disease for people with asthma and allergies through support, advocacy, education and research.
Better Emergency Response
AAFA and MedicAlert will also create training for first responders and medical personnel. We will create the continuing education based on current medical guidelines for treating asthma attacks and severe allergic reactions.
“For over 60 years, MedicAlert has served the first responder community,” said Jervis. “The new partnership with AAFA aligns perfectly with our mission of saving and protecting lives by sharing vital information in emergencies. Together with AAFA we can improve outcomes for people with asthma attacks or anaphylactic reactions.”
How Can I Raise Awareness About Asthma and Allergies?Visit aafa.org/act to make a pact to ACT for asthma and allergies along with AAFA and MedicAlert.
Visit aafa.org/awarenessmonth to share social media tools, learn about awareness events, support AAFA through fundraising and more.
Join our online community where you can get support for asthma and allergies and stay up to date on news and research.