Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

 

Update – May 20, 2020

We added the following updates to this blog post:

  • New resource on improving indoor air quality
  • Symptoms that require emergency treatment
  • Ways to manage stress
  • New questions on how to use disinfectant cleaners safely with asthma
  • Updated answer to the question on travel

Other resources available include:

Note: Because this is a constantly changing situation, any data in this blog post may not represent the most up-to-date information. We will update this blog when possible.


What Is the New Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A coronavirus is a type of virus that often occurs in animals. Sometimes, it can spread to humans. This is rare.

In December 2019, a new illness called COVID-19 started spreading. COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 symptoms can include:

  • 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 reported are:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Diarrhea or nausea
  • Pinkeye
  • Painful blue or purple lesions on toes (COVID toes)
  • Hives or rashes

If you have these emergency warning signs, call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately:

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away
  • Newly confused or can’t wake up
  • Bluish tint on lips, face or fingernails

According to the CDC, this list may not include all symptoms. If you have any symptoms that are severe or concerning, call your doctor.

Most children tend to have mild COVID-19 symptoms that are similar to a cold. They may have:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

The CDC believes symptoms may appear two to 14 days after coming in contact with the virus. WHO has declared it a global pandemic (an outbreak of a new virus that spreads easily).

How Can I Tell the Difference Between COVID-19, the Flu, a Cold or Seasonal Allergies?

Some symptoms are similar between these respiratory illnesses. This chart can help you figure out if you may be feeling symptoms of allergies or a respiratory illness like COVID-19. If you have a fever and a cough, call your doctor. If you have seasonal allergies, there are things you can do to treat at home.

comparison of COVID-19, flu, common cold and allergy symptoms
Click to see larger image

All of these conditions may worsen asthma, so it’s important to keep taking your asthma control medicines.

Information is still changing. We will update this chart as new evidence comes out.

How Does COVID-19 Spread?

The virus is thought to spread through talking, coughing or sneezing. The virus will be in droplets that are coughed out into the air. These are heavy droplets and they quickly fall to the ground/surface below.

People who are within 6 feet (2 meters) of someone who is ill with COVID-19 may be within the zone that droplets can reach. If someone who is sick coughs on or near your face, you may get infected. Studies now show that some people may have COVID-19 and not show symptoms. They may spread the virus without knowing it.

This is why the CDC now recommends everyone wear a cloth face covering in places where it's hard to keep a 6-foot distance from others to help stop the spread of illness. If you aren't wearing a face covering, cough/sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. If you use a tissue, throw it away. In either case, throw it away. In either case, wash your hands after you cough or sneeze.

COVID-19 may also live on surfaces that people have coughed on. If you touch a surface with the virus on it and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes, you may get sick.

Who Is at Risk From COVID-19?

An initial review of U.S. COVID-19 cases of people with underlying conditions shows that people with chronic lung disease, including asthma, may be at higher risk of hospitalization for COVID-19.1 But early data from New York state suggests people with asthma have a lower death rate if they do get COVID-19.2

According to the WHO and the CDC, the highest risk groups include:

  • People caring for someone who is ill with COVID-19
  • People over age 65
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • People who are pregnant
  • People with chronic medical conditions, especially if they are not well-controlled, such as:
    • People with a body mass index over 40
    • Serious heart conditions
    • Diabetes
    • Chronic kidney disease and on dialysis
    • Liver disease
    • Immunocompromised people, such as those on cancer treatments
    • Asthma (and other lung diseases)

People with asthma should take precautions when any type of respiratory illness is spreading in their community.

In the U.S., the flu and other illnesses nay still be spreading even though activity has decreased. If you have symptoms of a cough or fever, call your doctor. If you have the flu, there are antiviral treatments available.

Disparities Among Black, Latino and Native American Communities

Communities of color are experiencing a major impact from COVID-19. Recent data collected in the United States and in the United Kingdom shows that black, Latino and Native American patients along with lower-income groups are disproportionately dying from COVID-19. This is likely due to long term disparities in care. Counties in the U.S. with a black majority have six times the rates of deaths from COVID-19.4

Physical (Social) Distancing Guidelines for People at High Risk

The CDC has released guidelines for people at high risk (including people with asthma):

  • Stock up on supplies (a 14- to 30-day supply)
  • Take steps to keep a distance from others (social distancing, about 6 feet)
  • Avoid people who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Clean and disinfect your home and car regularly, especially items you touch often like doorknobs, light switches, cell phones, car door handles and steering wheels, etc.

The CDC also recommends you stay home as much as possible. Try to find ways to have food and supplies delivered to your home.

Air Pollution

A study out of Harvard shows that people who live in areas in the U.S. with high air pollution may be more likely to die from COVID-19.3 If you live in a high-pollution area, try to reduce how much you are exposed to outdoor air pollution. Stay home as much as possible to avoid traffic. Keep your windows closed and use central air conditioning if you have it. Change or clean your air filters properly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, as well. Watch air quality reports and stay inside on days when air quality is worse.

How Can I Avoid Getting COVID-19 and Other Respiratory Infections?

The steps you take to avoid the flu and other respiratory infections will also help protect you from COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 to 30 seconds, and always after coughing or sneezing. If you don’t have access to running water, use an alcohol-based hand cleanser that is at least 60% alcohol.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Stay away from people who are sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick.
  • Don’t share makeup, food, dishes or eating utensils.
  • Wear a cloth face cover per new CDC guidelines.
  • Take your daily asthma medicines to keep your asthma under control.

Spring pollen is high across the U.S. too. Seasonal allergies can affect people with allergic asthma. If pollen allergies trigger asthma symptoms for you, be sure to follow your allergy treatment plan to keep your allergies under control to prevent asthma episodes or attacks.

The most important thing you can do right now is to keep your asthma under control. If your asthma is not under control, call your doctor right away.

If you do get sick, call your doctor and follow your Asthma Action Plan.

If you plan to travel, check CDC travel precautions.

If I Think I Have COVID-19, What Should I Do?

If you start having symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor or your local department of health right away. Many states have various testing options, and your doctor or department of health can tell you what to do.

Many doctors have been offering telehealth (video or virtual appointments) – although doctors may reduce telehealth appointments as practices open back up. If that is an option, ask your insurance company if telehealth is covered under your plan. And if you have Medicare, you might be able to have a virtual visit with your doctor. The government has expanded the coverage of telehealth services during the COVID-19 crisis.

Should I Wear a Mask or Face Covering to Prevent Spreading COVID-19?

Previously, the CDC and the WHO recommended that people not wear masks to avoid spreading and getting COVID-19. This was based on previous concerns that using masks incorrectly could actually spread the virus more.

New evidence shows that as many as 25 to 50% of people with COVID-19 may not show symptoms, which means you can spread the virus before you know you have it.

The CDC now recommends that Americans wear cloth face coverings when you leave home to keep you from accidentally spreading the virus. A face covering can catch droplets from your mouth and nose so you don't spread them to people nearby. You can use a scarf, a bandanna or a homemade mask. Use material that you can machine wash and dry without damage.

To tell if a homemade face covering will be sufficient, shine a light through it. If you can see the light through it, it will not offer sufficient protection. Your face covering may need multiple layers. Make sure your face covering blocks the light but still allows you to breathe through it.

Because of the limited supply, the CDC urges you NOT to purchase surgical, N95 or any other kind of medical mask. We need to save the supply for health care workers who already don’t have enough supplies.

You must still continue to practice physical distancing even if you wear a face covering. A face covering will not give you 100% protection from catching COVID-19. But it will help you and others reduce the chance of spreading it, especially if you aren’t showing symptoms.

It is important to follow proper steps when using a face covering or mask. Follow these steps when using a face covering or mask:

  1. Wash your hands before putting on a face covering or mask.
  2. Fully cover your mouth, nose and beard. Make sure there are no gaps between the face covering or mask and your skin.
  3. Avoid touching the face covering or mask while using it.
  4. If your face covering or mask gets damp, replace with a clean one and wash if reusable. If it's disposable, throw it away and replace with a new one.
  5. Remove the mask from behind, trying to not touch the front. Wash washable face coverings right away. Throw away disposable masks into a closed bag or trash can.
  6. Wash your hands with hot water and soap for 20 to 30 seconds.

Masks may not be appropriate for children age 2 and younger. It’s best to keep kids at home where they do not need to wear a mask.

Should I Keep Appointments With My Allergist During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Many health care providers are beginning to see patients in their offices again. As they open up, procedures may change. They may reduce the number of people in the waiting room. They may also take your temperature and ask you about symptoms. You may also be asked to wear a mask.

Your doctor may also ask you to track your peak flow readings at home instead of doing lung function tests in the office to reduce the chance of spreading the virus.

With spring pollen high in many parts of the U.S., regular allergy shots are an effective way to help you manage your allergy and allergic asthma symptoms. Check with your allergist's office to find out what changes they have made to how they are giving allergy shots. Continue with your allergy shot schedule unless your allergist tells you differently, practicing proper physical distancing.

Should I Avoid Taking Ibuprofen If I Get COVID-19?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is not enough evidence yet to know if ibuprofen and other NSAIDS (a type of medicine that reduces swelling) makes COVID-19 symptoms worse.

If you are concerned about taking ibuprofen when you have COVID-19, ask your doctor if you can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce your fever.

How Can I Deal With Stress During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Nearly everyone is experiencing stress because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stress can affect your well-being and quality of life. It can be an asthma trigger. So it’s important that you take care of yourself during this time.

Find some self-care practices that work for you. Some examples are:

  • Try a hobby
  • Take breaks from the news and social media
  • Take care of your body through exercise, healthy eating and getting enough sleep
  • Practice deep breathing and stretching
  • Keep in touch with friends and family

The CDC also offers more information on coping with stress.

When you have a chronic disease like asthma, taking part in a support group can have many benefits. AAFA has free online support groups for people with asthma and allergies. For support and encouragement through the COVID-19 pandemic, join the AAFA community.

What Do People With Asthma Need to Know About the New Coronavirus? Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Dr. Mitchell Grayson

  • Are people with asthma at higher risk of catching COVID-19?
    Not that we are aware of – although data is still developing.
  • Are people with asthma at higher risk of more severe symptoms from COVID-19? (Updated 5/20/20)
    According to a study looking at U.S. patients with COVID-19, it does appear that people with underlying health conditions like chronic lung disease may be at higher risk for hospitalization with COVID-19.¹ It is less clear if they have more severe disease. In fact, in New York state there is some evidence of a lower death rate from COVID-19 in those patients with asthma.²
  • Should people with asthma wear a mask when in public areas? (Updated 5/20/20)
    As more studies have shown that a number of people may have COVID-19 without symptoms, the CDC now recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering when in public to prevent spreading the virus. You can make your own covering from scarves, bandannas or fabric.

    Please don’t buy N95 masks. Health care workers need these to protect themselves when caring for people with or who might have COVID-19.

    It also is still important to:

    1. Practice physical distancing
    2. Wash your hands with soap and water often
    3. Avoid people who are coughing/sneezing and have cold like symptoms
    4. Make sure you take your medicine and get your asthma under best control
    5. Get the flu shot every year
  • What should people with asthma do if they have symptoms of fever and cough? (Updated 4/16/20)
    Treat your asthma as your doctor has told you and give them a call. It is important to let them know about your illness. They will ask you a few questions about your illness that will help them decide if you should come to their office, go to the emergency department or stay at home. If possible (and I encourage this), avoid going to work or any public places when you have a fever, so you do not spread your illness.
  • If local clinics/doctors do not want people to go into a clinic sick, how will they know if they have the flu, COVID-19 or some other respiratory illness? If people get the flu right now, but can't be seen for diagnosis, they may miss out on getting antivirals. What should they do? (Updated 4/16/20)
    In general, most doctors and clinics will look at the risk of the coronavirus and then decide if you should be seen in their clinic. If you are ill and they think you may have COVID-19, you will probably be told to go to an emergency department. On the way to the emergency department, avoid contact with other people and wear a mask if possible. Use physical distancing.
  • Some people have concerns about the steroids in their asthma inhalers weakening their immune system. What should people know about inhaled corticosteroids or oral corticosteroids (such as prednisone)?
    It is very important to keep your asthma under control. This often requires the use of an inhaled corticosteroid (also called a maintenance or long-term control medicine) that you take every day, and sometimes oral steroids like prednisone. Steroids are not a risk for people with asthma, so continue to take your medications as prescribed.
  • Should I stop using nasal steroid sprays? (Updated 4/16/20)
    You can continue to use nasal sprays. The risk of using them releasing particles into the air is low, far lower than sneezing.

    After using your nasal spray, wipe down the tip with a tissue. Throw the tissue away and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Don’t share your nasal spray with anyone.
  • If I use a nebulizer at home, could it spread the coronavirus through the air (even if I don't know if I have it)? (Updated 4/16/20)
    If you need to take quick-relief medicine (such as albuterol) for an asthma episode, use an inhaler (with a spacer) if possible. Using a nebulizer can increase the risk of sending virus particles in the air if you are sick. But if you have a nebulizer and solution, it is OK to use it to treat an asthma episode. When using a nebulizer, limit the number of people in the room or use it in a room by yourself.

    The biggest risk to people with asthma is not treating asthma symptoms when needed at home. This can lead to visits to overcrowded emergency rooms with no hospital beds. Uncontrolled asthma is a much higher risk to your health than COVID-19.
  • Do antihistamines suppress your immune system and make you more likely to catch a virus or bacterial infection?
    Antihistamines do not suppress the immune system. There is no reason to think they would increase your chances of getting a virus or a bacterial infection.
  • How much asthma medicine do you recommend people have on hand?
    I don’t think having a large stash of medicine on hand will be helpful. And it will limit the amount of drugs available to other people. If you want to be safe, have a 30-day supply on hand. There is no need for more than that.
  • If people received their pneumococcal vaccine, does that provide any protection for developing pneumonia from coronavirus?
    No. The pneumococcal vaccine protects against a bacterial pneumonia (from streptococcus pneumonia), but it will not protect against the pneumonia that COVID-19 causes.
  • Should people with asthma have a pulse oximeter at home to check their oxygen levels? Can I use a health app on my phone to check my O2 when I’m short of breath? (Added 4/29/2020)
    Pulse oximeters (or “pulse ox”) are used by doctors to measure how much oxygen your blood is carrying. Some people with COVID-19 experience a drop in their oxygen saturation in their blood. Many people with COVID-19 are using pulse oximeters at home to watch their oxygen levels even though they are not as accurate as medical grade devices.

    Monitoring your pulse ox is not a recommended component of home management of asthma. In general, peak flow readings or keeping a symptoms diary are the most common ways to manage your asthma (along with an Asthma Action Plan). A pulse ox may be added to this, but it is important to discuss this with your doctor. There are many ways home pulse oximeters can provide inaccurate readings. Normal pulse oximeter readings range from 92 to 100%, with 90% or below usually considered low, although some people have lower oxygenation levels normally. It is important to remember that the symptoms you feel should always come before pulse ox and peak flow numbers.

    There are no data demonstrating that monitoring your pulse ox through an oximeter or smartphone app will help manage your asthma. As always, talk to your doctor about the best ways to monitor your symptoms and asthma control.5

    Similarly, there is no recommendation to use an at-home pulse oximeter to determine if you have COVID-19. Doctors may recommend using a pulse oximeter to keep an eye on oxygen levels for people with confirmed COVID-19 and high-risk factors. Some people with mild to moderate COVID-19 may need to use supplemental oxygen at home.
  • The CDC and WHO have stated that people over age 65 are at high risk. Are there recommendations for people over age 65 with asthma on how to avoid COVID-19 (or other respiratory illnesses)? What can you tell us about prevention or treatments for this age group? (Updated 4/29/20)
    The recommendations are the same as mentioned above. If you are in the at-risk group, you may want to limit your exposure to public areas where many people gather. This applies to COVID-19 but also to other spreading respiratory viruses. I would also recommend not shaking hands, kissing people, etc. This will limit the likelihood of getting a virus from them. If possible, stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who shows symptoms of a cold – although many people with COVID-19 can spread the virus before they show any symptoms.
  • What physical (social) distancing (e.g., staying home from work, school, large events and crowds) guidelines should people with asthma follow? Does the advice differ if you live in a town/county with an outbreak of COVID-19? What if you live in a state that is reopening? (Updated 4/29/2020)
    Physical distancing is always a good idea for everyone during the peak of cold and flu season, as well as during the current pandemic. This is a public health response to limit the viral spread. I would encourage everyone to follow CDC physical distancing guidelines, which is to stay home as much as possible, even if your state has reopened. This is especially important for people who may be at higher risk. It really is the distance between people that is important. I still recommend not shaking hands. And try to stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who shows symptoms of an upper respiratory illness.

    If your state is reopening and you need to leave home more often (for example, to return to work), talk to your doctor and continue to practice physical distancing. If for any reason you are entering an environment where you cannot stay 6 feet away from other people, please try to wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose. Also, be sure to wash your hands if you will be in an environment where you will be touching items that other people have touched (such as a store, etc.).
  • Is flying on an airplane with asthma safe right now, or should people with asthma cancel their trips? (Updated 5/20/20)
    As businesses begin to open back up, employees may need to travel for work. It is still recommended that all travel, domestic and international be avoided if possible. Physical (social) distancing is still needed to stop the spread of the virus, so staying out of busy airports, train and bus stations will help. If you absolutely must travel, traveling in your personal car is probably safest because it’s easier to limit the number of people you are exposed to.

    Remember that the biggest risk of getting any illness on a plane, train or bus comes from the people in the row in front and behind you, and those right beside you. I would recommend sitting in a window seat with an empty middle seat if possible. Ask to be reseated if someone in the row in front or behind or next to you appears ill. Think about bringing antiseptic wipes to wipe down your armrests, tray table, headrest and other areas you will be touching. Wear a face covering as many airlines now require it.

    If you do travel internationally, keep in mind that you will likely have to self-isolate at home for 14 days. Or in some cases, you may not be able to even return to the U.S. right away.
  • Can I get COVID-19 from a pet? Or can I give it to them? (Added 4/29/2020)
    No one has been reported to have developed COVID-19 from their pet. However, the opposite has been reported, with a small number of pets – dogs and cats – developing COVID-19 from contact with people with the illness. The animals had very mild illnesses. For now, the CDC recommends you treat your pets like a member of your family. If someone in your home gets sick, keep the pets away from them just like they were a human member of the household. And don’t allow them to be around people outside of your home.
  • What are the best cleaning and disinfectant products to kill COVID-19 when you have asthma? (Added 5/20/2020)
    Products that clean, sanitize or disinfect may trigger asthma. When using these products, open windows, run exhaust fans, avoid spraying them into the air and wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself. If you can, have someone else do the cleaning while you are in another room or outside of the home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends the use of EPA-registered household disinfectants. When choosing a disinfectant, look for products that are non-scented. Also look for asthma-safer ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, lactic acid, citric acid and alcohol-ethyl or isopropyl alcohol.

    According to the CDC’s How to Clean and Disinfect, clean surfaces first with soap and water to reduce the number of germs, then use a disinfectant to kill the germs. The things you touch often should be cleaned often, like tables, doorknobs, countertops, handles, toilets, etc. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning keyboards, phones and touch screens.
  • If I make my own cleaning or disinfectant products, will they kill COVID-19? (Added 5/20/2020)
    It may be hard to find to cleaning or disinfecting products in stores right now. If you want to use products you already have at home, try these:

    • Hydrogen peroxide (3%) can be used full strength to kill covid-19. It should be left on surfaces for 1 minute before wiping.6
    • You can make your own disinfectant with bleach. Add 1/3 cup of household bleach to one gallon of cold water in a well-ventilated area or outside. Wear gloves and a mask, and do not mix other cleaning products (especially ammonia) with bleach. Mix small batches and throw away after 24 hours. Bleach can trigger asthma and is harsh on the skin, so use with caution. Wash your hands after using the bleach solution.

    Vinegar and essential oils (like tea tree oil) are not EPA-registered disinfectants and will not kill COVID-19.

References
1. Preliminary Estimates of the Prevalence of Selected Underlying Health Conditions Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 — United States, February 12–March 28, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:382–386. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6913e2
2. Asthma Is Absent Among Top Covid-19 Risk Factors, Early Data Shows. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/0...rus-asthma-risk.html
3. Air pollution linked with higher COVID-19 death rates. (2020, April 7). Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/n...ovid-19-death-rates/
4. Thebault, R., Tran, A. B., & Williams, V. (2020, April 7). The coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/07/coronavirus-is-infecting-killing-black-americans-an-alarmingly-high-rate-post-analysis-shows/
5. Heneghan, C. (2018, January 30). Self-management of asthma – is there an app or pulse oximeter for that? Retrieved from https://blogs.bmj.com/bmjebmsp...-app-pulse-oximeter/
6. Kampf, G., Todt, D., Pfaender, S., & Steinmann, E. (2020). Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. Journal of Hospital Infection, 104(3), 246–251. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2020.01.022

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Comments (120)

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Thank you. Still a bit of a struggle, but I am able to rest because my wife is taking up my slack, bless her heart. I do not think I've turned the corner because, after improving  earlier in the week, I began to get more ill again as the week has evolved. I understand that this happens with his virus, so I'm just going to take as long as I need to recover.

I have COVID-19 and asthma. I also have other health conditions and am over 65. I am not as ill as I expected (going on two weeks with it). I have to wonder of those of us on corticosteroids have some protection from the inflammation that is so deadly with COVID-19. I have to be on prednisone for adrenal insufficiency as well as well, so it's a bit different for me, but with the mortality rate for asthmatics with COVID-19 being below what would be expected, it gives me pause about this link.

People suffering from severe to moderate asthma are considered at high risk of getting infected from the coronavirus. The virus affects your respiratory tract, and most probably, it can trigger an asthma attack. There is also a possibility that the situation gets more critical and led to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease. Pharmaceutical companies are still working on the COVID19 mediation, and it will take a few months to be available in the market. So, the best way to avoid getting exposed to coronavirus is to stay at home, eat healthy food, maintain social distancing, and take your asthma medication on time. Ventolin inhaler helps to cope up with an asthma attack and easily available online to purchase from Alldaychemist.com.

@Maja posted:

Hi i am from Europe. And i have asthma for many years. I am very scared now because COVID19. I follow all instructions. I haven't been out of the apartment already 2 months. I live with my parents who are retired. Only my father went out for food once a week and always wore a mask. I have had a low temperature 37.2 for 14 days. It changes during the day. In the morning I don't have and in the evening increases to 37.2 when I fall asleep it is normal. I don't have other symptoms. What is happening to me?

Hi @Maja - it sounds like you're doing everything right. I'm sorry you have a fever. Calling your doctor and asking what you should do is recommended. 

Many of us are scared as well - sending hugs! Please let us know what your doctor says and keep us posted on how you are feeling. 

Lorene 

Hi i am from Europe. And i have asthma for many years. I am very scared now because COVID19. I follow all instructions. I haven't been out of the apartment already 2 months. I live with my parents who are retired. Only my father went out for food once a week and always wore a mask. I have had a low temperature 37.2 for 14 days. It changes during the day. In the morning I don't have and in the evening increases to 37.2 when I fall asleep it is normal. I don't have other symptoms. What is happening to me?

It seems from the information that I've read about COVID-19, the virus is highly unpredictable; symptoms and outcomes vary widely, depending on the strength of each individual's immune system, comorbidities, and age. Physicians and researchers are still uncovering many details of how the virus affects different patient populations, and they learn new information every day. They report that some with underlying conditions survive the virus, while many others die, which is why health experts have advised everyone, especially those with underlying conditions at any age, to take all precautions. As far as comparing COVID-19 to car accidents, it was interesting to read that statistics show approximately 40,000 people in the U.S. die in car accidents each year. As of today, it has been reported that more than twice that amount, over 80,000 people in the U.S., have died of COVID-19, within months. Surprisingly, we have a much greater chance of dying from COVID-19 than from perishing in a car accident. Stats also show that the current COVID-19 death rate in the U.S. has reached 6%, and an individual state's percentage is as high as 8%: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/. Stay safe out there. 

Hi Karim, I have cold induced, which can also be induced by a sharp change in temperature by 35 degrees in less than 24 hours,and I don't think ive gotten more than a 200 on my flow. I also haven't had to use my nebulizer in just over a year and spent most of my morning winters in the ER. My mothers friend is one of the head nurses for the covid situation here in New Jersey, I explained how I felt weeks ago to her the other day, she confirmed that I may have in fact had it. I did not however contract pneumonia, nor was it all that bad. I took my inhaler and I was fine, tbh if i did have it, it was underwelming. Plus the death rate for not just us but anyone who has been infected across every state is 3%. Thats just higher than the number of car accidents you may see in a week at this point. Take some light asthmatic precautions and you'll be fine(as long as you are under 60).

Melissa G posted:

Savail, here is a free online asthma care course. It goes over asthma triggers, symptoms and medications. 

Melissa G posted:

Hi Islandgirl, welcome to the AAFA forums! That is a great question, have you consulted with your dr about your concern?

You can also submit your question to our "Ask The Allergist". 

Savail, you are correct, there is conflicting information on wearing masks. This is the latest recommendation from the CDC for people with asthma. Have you ever seen an allergist or pulmonologist? 

Hello..yes..I am now on maintenance and was told that it is "building" my immune system. 

Hi @Islandgirl - that's a great question and we did ask our medical experts about allergy shots:

Should I Continue to Get Allergy Shots During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

With spring pollen on the rise in the U.S., regular allergy shots are an effective way to help you manage your allergy and allergic asthma symptoms. Check with your allergist's office to find out what changes they have made to how they are giving allergy shots. Continue with your allergy shot schedule unless your allergist tells you differently, practicing proper social distancing.

Hi @savail -  AAFA has reached out to the CDC to share concerns and questions about masks and face coverings. We will update our community as new information develops.

During pregnancy, wimen can see their asthma symptoms get better, worse or stay the same. It's sounds like yours may have gotten worse. Have you checked bin with your doctor about your increased issues? They can best guide you to a treatment plan that will keep you and the baby safe and healthy. www.aafa.org/pregnancy

Miss Melissa, no, I have not unless it was when I was a young child. I know I was diagnosed with sinus problems around threeish and that on more than one occasion, they told my mother I would always have breathing problems without some kind of surgery. I was 'prescribed' a variety of different generic OTC allergy/sinus meds from childhood all the way through high school. I didn't have issues with activity or sports at the time, and according to doctors had adjusted well, so really, the only tell was that I constantly had bags under my eyes from a young age and struggled to eat with my mouth closed.

When I started having wheezing fits in high school, we just assumed it was sinus/bronchitis related, and I dealt with it, because we didn't realize there was anything that could be done. Menthol cough drops were my best friend if I had to do any activity, and I tried to stay indoors if people were burning cedar. When I was older, if I was having trouble breathing around bedtime, I'd drink an energy drink for the one-two combo of it putting me to sleep and making it a bit easier to breathe.

And yes, I've been keeping an eye on both the CDC page that you linked and the FAQ page about cloth coverings, which just states not to if you have "breathing problems." Very helpfully vague. I appreciate your response!

Hi Islandgirl, welcome to the AAFA forums! That is a great question, have you consulted with your dr about your concern?

You can also submit your question to our "Ask The Allergist". 

Savail, you are correct, there is conflicting information on wearing masks. This is the latest recommendation from the CDC for people with asthma. Have you ever seen an allergist or pulmonologist? 

I keep finding conflicting recommendations from places online about whether or not those with asthma or other breathing issues should wear a face covering. Normally, my asthma is mostly just set off by mold or the heat (or both, because mold is a real **** when it gets hot and humid outside), but since becoming pregnant, it's just been all around bad and hard to breathe in general. I try to minimize the amount I use my inhaler, but all of the disinfectants in use haven't been helping any, either. I've tried to wear a face covering, but even without being up and moving around, I end up struggling to breathe. For example, just sitting on the couch working at sewing one had me out of breath once! I may talk on the phone one day to my mother for an hour and be fine, but another day end up out-of-breath and using my inhaler for the same activity, without any clear trigger.

I don't actually have any idea about spirometry levels or preventative meds or anything of the sort because I never actually had proper asthma testing done despite lifelong breathing problems (something about nasal passages and sinuses and narrowed something-or-other that leaves me prone to recurring respiratory infections and the occasional semiannual bout with bronchitis and/or pneumonia, so it never crossed our minds to have me tested because we assumed all of the problems were due to just that). Instead, I was given a rescue inhaler and diagnosis by a doctor a few years ago because my O2 sat dropped low enough one night at work to where my charge nurse had to give me an emergency breathing treatment with stock supplies, and I was forbidden to go back to work until I'd seen someone about it. Since I had confirmed improvement of O2 sats with the nebulizer, I was given a rescue inhaler and the asthma tag, and it definitely helps bring me back to my baseline for breathing when I use it, but my baseline is already poor to begin with.

But I digress! The CDC mentions that people with breathing problems shouldn't wear face coverings, but what do they consider to be breathing problems? Does asthma count? Does it not count? Does it only count if you legitimately can't breathe in a mask? How do you demonstrate this if your city/county starts requiring face coverings--carry a face covering, put it on and wait to go blue in the face so they tell you nevermind? Do I tell them I have asthma? Do I tell them "hi, my breathing passages are a piece of crap, and I have impaired breathing when my face is covered but no actual diagnosis other than asthma?" I jest, but seriously, what should I be doing?

Kathy P posted:

Hi Zachary and welcome.

Thank you for reiterating that asthma medicines are not protective in any way against the novel coronavirus that causes COVD-19. It is important for anyone with asthma to continue to take their medicine as directed to keep their asthma well controlled.

 

Hello, I suggest you read this:  Japan study shows inhaled corticosteroids is effective at inhibiting SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) viral reproduction.  They are NOT effective against MERS, influenza, and other retroviruses.

https://www.biorxiv.org/conten...11.987016v1.full.pdf

Japan and Korea are doing trials of Alvesco inhaler for treatment of mild COVID-19 respiratory issues.

https://geneonline.news/en/202...o-to-fight-covid-19/

 

Tytania posted:
Zachary posted:
Collin S Magnuson posted:

Albuterol inhalers, nebulizers and other asthma treatments may significantly strengthen the lungs and help symptoms of Coronavirus and fight off the infection faster. Even people without asthma could use asthma treatments to fight corona virus.

You are going to get people killed! Do not use a nebulizer. The only time you should use it is if you have asthma and you live alone. 1. It does not "fight it off" 2. A nebulizer makes the virus into an aerosol that now has extraordinarily bigger infecton radius. If you are not a pulmonologist do not give advice you will hurt people

actually they do give nebulizers to other people besides those who have asthma , people with COPD and Bronchitis often get them too. And you do not need to live alone to use one. he is not getting people killed. you are grossly over reacting. sometimes if people do not use one they will die of either a COPD flare or an asthma attack. You can use one at home as stated from a professional above as long as you are in your own space in the house alone or where there is a huge space that is well ventilated but preferably alone at this time. wow 

The use of nebulizers (specifically nebulizers) can increase the risk of infection of those around you if you are ill, because of aerosolization. Depending on who's around you, infection can be deadly. Continue to follow your normal asthma routine as doctors recommend, but if you fall ill and you use a nebulizer, make sure you know the risk to those around you and prepare yourselves accordingly. Many hospitals have stopped using nebulizers in COVID-19 patients for this reason. It may help you, but it might make another person sick. Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. 

 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32077661/

Zachary posted:
Collin S Magnuson posted:

Albuterol inhalers, nebulizers and other asthma treatments may significantly strengthen the lungs and help symptoms of Coronavirus and fight off the infection faster. Even people without asthma could use asthma treatments to fight corona virus.

You are going to get people killed! Do not use a nebulizer. The only time you should use it is if you have asthma and you live alone. 1. It does not "fight it off" 2. A nebulizer makes the virus into an aerosol that now has extraordinarily bigger infecton radius. If you are not a pulmonologist do not give advice you will hurt people

actually they do give nebulizers to other people besides those who have asthma , people with COPD and Bronchitis often get them too. And you do not need to live alone to use one. he is not getting people killed. you are grossly over reacting. sometimes if people do not use one they will die of either a COPD flare or an asthma attack. You can use one at home as stated from a professional above as long as you are in your own space in the house alone or where there is a huge space that is well ventilated but preferably alone at this time. wow 

Hi Zachary and welcome.

Thank you for reiterating that asthma medicines are not protective in any way against the novel coronavirus that causes COVD-19. It is important for anyone with asthma to continue to take their medicine as directed to keep their asthma well controlled.

We do recommend that inhalers be used at this time if possible, but some people may need to use a nebulizer for their medicine. We asked this question of our medical advisor and it is included in the blog:

If I use a nebulizer at home, could it spread the coronavirus through the air (even if I don't know if I have it)? (New)

If you need to take quick-relief medicine (such as albuterol) for an asthma episode, use an inhaler if possible. Using a nebulizer can increase the risk of sending virus particles in the air if you are sick. But if you have a nebulizer and solution, it is OK to use it to treat an asthma episode. When using a nebulizer, limit the number of people in the room or use it in a room by yourself.

The biggest risk to people with asthma is not treating asthma symptoms when needed at home. This can lead to visits to overcrowded emergency rooms with no hospital beds. Uncontrolled asthma is a much higher risk to your health than COVID-19.
Collin S Magnuson posted:

Albuterol inhalers, nebulizers and other asthma treatments may significantly strengthen the lungs and help symptoms of Coronavirus and fight off the infection faster. Even people without asthma could use asthma treatments to fight corona virus.

You are going to get people killed! Do not use a nebulizer. The only time you should use it is if you have asthma and you live alone. 1. It does not "fight it off" 2. A nebulizer makes the virus into an aerosol that now has extraordinarily bigger infecton radius. If you are not a pulmonologist do not give advice you will hurt people

More testing and measurements is needed as soon as possible. Some of us have severe "shortness of breath" inside public facilities like urgent care and Costco if we touch Clorox disinfecting wipes without gloves.

Who is measuring VOC levels in NY VS CA. Look at COVID-19 Deaths in CA Vs NYC? 

#Cleanairmatters

#MeasureVOCS/QACS

Lara posted:

It really bothers me that these tables always say there are no aches and pains for allergy sufferers.  There are for some of us!

what bothers me also is that and that this chart said that we do not get shortness of breath with seasonal allergies and that is just not truth! I have been in an asthma group for ten years and I know several of the people and they all get shortness of breathe like I do with seasonal allergies.

 

okay just a question but how do you all figure that people with asthma do not get shortness of breath? I know tons of people with it ,including myself and we all get shortness of breath! this is not a correct statement to say people with asthma seasonal allergies etc do not get short of breath , because we in fact do. honestly the symptoms of Covid-19 are so vague it is scary for people with lung issues because we have those symptoms often except for fever, and for me with lupus etc (and other diseases) I get a fever sometimes , at least once a week and I cough all the timefrom COPD and asthma , this chart is not very helpful for someone like me.

i’m 16 years old working as a cashier. I have mild asthma which is well controlled and have never been in icu or anything serious. there’s about 1,200 cases in my province and i live in the main city area. should i continue to go to work? they have put up plexiglass and provided masks and gloves but i feel it is not enough. i’ve only worked around 400 hours so i don’t qualify for EI and i don’t want to lose my job. i’m not sure if i qualify to take a leave of absence for 6 months and i’m not sure what to do. i also take public transit to work but it is not too crowded. i feel the customers don’t respect my space enough and come too close/go around the plexiglass. my parents are encouraging me to not go anymore. what are my options?? please help!