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

AAFA Community Services ·
We have updated this blog post to reflect more recent information on the 2019 new coronavirus (COVID-19). Even though coronavirus numbers have risen worldwide, people in the U.S. are still at a greater risk of getting the flu. Keep washing your hands and avoiding people who are sick. And don't forget to follow your Asthma Action Plan if you start feeling ill.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
I have intermittent asthma. I usually manage my symptoms (wheezing during the pollen season) with antihistamines and sometimes the Ventolin inhaler. I had an attack about a month ago and the last time before that was 10 years ago. For the most recent attack, I was prescribed Deltacortril for five days, and they certainly sorted the problem. The doctor also suggested I take a preventive inhaler to keep the asthma at bay. However, I read on the internet that the preventive inhaler which...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi @Azmtick - those are all great questions! Many long-term controller or preventative medicine inhalers do contain an inhaled corticosteroid. These prevent and reduce airway swelling. They also reduce mucus in the lungs. They are the most effective long-term control medicines available. It's important to keep taking your controller medicine even when you don't have symptoms because they prevent asthma symptoms. Stopping your controller medicine may increase your asthma symptoms and the risk...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Thanks Kathy P. That's very useful advice.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
I can't find any information anywhere about patients with asthma (specifically) and COVID-19 mortality rates. I am a relatively healthy individual with mild but persistent allergy triggered asthma. My singulair seems to keep it under control. I've had the flu twice this season (different strains) with no complications. But, I am curious, so these are my questions: I've heard that the jury is still out on what exactly causes respiratory complications from viruses in people with asthma. Some...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hello @I Am Curious , I am happy to hear you weathered two different flu virus strains this year without complications! Most healthy people recover from flu without complications (and is what is being seen in coronavirus COVID-19 as well). But when you have asthma, it can put you at higher risk because asthmatic lungs already have swelling. When you have a respiratory infection, your immune system responds by creating more mucus and releasing substances from your cells to fight the virus or...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network February 28, 2020, 1505 ET (3:05 PM ET) Update and Interim Guidance on Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Summary The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to closely monitor and respond to the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. This CDC Health Alert Network (HAN) Update provides updated guidance on evaluating and testing persons under investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19. It supersedes...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
I’m not sure the flu comparison is terribly helpful here. There is a flu vaccine which at least keeps some types of flu at bay, if not all. Despite the fact that we are generally familiar with coronaviruses, there is much we still don’t know about this one. For example, there seem to be indicators that people are spreading the virus while asymptomatic, but no one is sure how. If this is indeed the case, then that makes infection control much more difficult. I’m worried about my baby. She’s...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Sorry, my baby didn’t have flu. RSV-induced bronchiolitis with pneumonia. Thankfully we’ve avoided flu so far.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Both my young adult kids have Flu- and cold-virus induced asthma. One of them is on the other side of the country at college. What do we know about the risk of Covid-19 with patients with this type of asthma? They both had their flu shots last fall. Should we be stocking up on anti-viral medication or Prednisone? The anti-viral medication really helped reduce the symptoms my son experienced in years past when he got the flu (which he got despite getting the flu vaccination).
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
I just read an article today that stated do not take steroids for the corona virus. It makes it worse. 1. is this true? 2. nebulizers and rescue inhalers are essentially steroidal. Does this also apply to them? 3. should we try to avoid using this if we contract the virus?
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Welcome Evita - those are all great questions! We are currently working with our medical scientific council to update the blog based on the lastest information known about the virus.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Thank you all for submitting your questions! We are working on updating our blog above with updated numbers and recommendations. We have also sent a list of questions to our Medical Scientific Council and will share the information as soon as we hear back from the council. Stay safe and keep washing your hands!
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
We need a practical article that will be radically honest and realistic about how to survive this as immune-compromised people. What concrete steps should we take WHEN (not “if”) this virus spreads to our community? For example, I am doing the following: procuring an N95 mask to use in public when the virus becomes pervasive; filling all prescriptions I may need if I get sick (inhalers, prednisone, etc.); getting the pneumonia vaccine to prevent the secondary infection if I can; stocking up...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Welcome CoachBW - we are working on getting the blog updated and have asked our medical advisors specific questions. Your plan follows many of the CDC recommendations for how to prepare your household for a possible COVID-19 outbreak . One reminder about masks is that they are most effective when worn by someone who is sick to prevent the spread of the virus through cough droplets. In general, masks don't provide much protection to someone who is not sick. You'd have to be directly...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
So I don’t use any asthma meds day to day as i haven’t needed them for years. Should I start using a preventer due to the covid-19 virus to protect myself or just keep a reliever just in case? I had asthma as a kid and was hospitalised, it went away a few years later. I had an asthma attack 25 odd years later after a bad chest infection caused by smoking, again after a few months I didn’t need any inhalers etc. So now I’m 8-10 years on from that attack thinking if I should start taking a...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi! It's great that your asthma is so well controlled that you don't need to take a daily controller/preventative medication. A preventer medicine will not keep you from getting COVID-19. I recommend you talk to your health care provider about your concerns. Let them know as soon as possible if you have any asthma or flu-like symptoms. It is important to identify and treat any virus as quickly as possible. Lorene
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
The testing for COVID-19 is based on looking for specific gene sequences unique to that virus. Those are gene sequences that do not appear in other similar viruses. How do the new coronavirus tests work? Updated to add: you theoretically could have both viruses in which case you will test positive for flu A/B.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Shea - I agree with you. I live in NYC and travel to work on the subway and wearing a n95 mask would greatly decrease my chances of contracting the virus where I am in close proximity to strangers. I do understand that the CDC and WHO are trying to quell the general population from buying/wearing masks when basic hygiene would be more helpful in the long term but they are not protecting those the with the 'underlying health conditions' that they continually mention. This is a situation where...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
I too am desperately looking for hints on what to do in the Covid-19 situation as someone with Asthma. From what I understand, I am not more likely to contract the virus, but it is likely that it will affect me more strongly once I do. Given the fact that at this point, we're mostly talking about "when" we will all be infected, rather than "if" - shouldn't it be the logical next step to quarantine everyone who's part of the higher risk demographic? I have a job that I could potentially do...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi Ellie and welcome! The situation is continuously evolving and not all areas are impacted the same right now. Social distancing, including working from home, are coming from local health departments. There are several topics on the forum discussing how to prepare - https://community.aafa.org/topic/566946312539943977
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
That article that supposedly shows that people with asthma are at low risk had NO people with asthma in it! They presume that since asthma rates in Wuhan are low, that people with asthma aren't at risk. How did that get past empirical review?
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
My husband has adult-onset asthma and controls it with daily medication, however, I am still concerned what would happen to him if he contracted coronavirus, since I've seen him battle numerous sinus infections and suffer considerably. He is a college instructor and is exposed to many people on a daily basis. I do not have asthma, but also want to avoid becoming ill so I don't infect him, so we are both on a daily vitamin regimen of immune-boosting vitamins, including D3, C, fish oil, B2,...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
My husband is 50 yrs old and has asthma. It is well controlled with Advair and with a few flare ups from time to time that His rescue inhaler will take care of. He hasn’t required a breathing treatment in many yrs. We are scheduled to go on a cruise in May. I am concerned considering he has asthma and I know there is so much still to be learned about this virus. Neither of us have any other underlying health conditions and are healthy otherwise. He would still like to go but I am uncertain...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Many thanks for the reply appreciate it. I may of confused people but what I was really trying to say was “should I start using my preventer now to reduce the possibility of asthma symptoms being triggered by covid19”?
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi Candace, thanks for your comprehensive reply. I think it's a smart move to boost your immune system with supplements, fruits and veggies. Since my husband also has a history of illness (though related to the pancreas), he spent a lot of time researching supplements and we are well-equipped I believe. Concerning the number of infections: I'm based in Germany and referring to the situation here. Indeed, chancellor Merkel herself admitted today that 60-70% of Germans will be infected: ...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi @Fraser - this is a really great question that many people have. All medicines have side effects, and taking additional medication when it is not needed is a decision to be made between you and your doctor. Additionally, being on a preventer medicine may not reduce asthma symptoms if you were to get an infection. My recommendation is to talk to your doctor about a plan to manage your asthma at the first sign of symptoms, and update your asthma action plan accordingly. Is that doable? ~ Lorene
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi! thanks for sharing your tips on how your and husband stay healthy. Just a precaution, people should always check with their health care provider before starting any supplements or even vitamins to make sure they will not interfere with current medications. Eating a healthy diet and exercising are great strategies to staying healthy throughout the year. Again, talking to a health care provider to ensure diet and exercise are safe is recommended. Grape juice contains a lot of sugar, so...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
The Q&A states that data indicates no higher mortality risk for people that have asthma and contract COVID-19. worldometers web site provides statistics that suggest asthma suffers mortality rates as follows: Condition: Chronic respiratory disease Death Rate Confirmed Cases: 8.0% Death Rate All Cases: 6.3% There are two sources they use that provide age, sex, and morbidity statistics: The Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission published on Feb. 28 by WHO, [ 2 ] which is based on 55,924...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
I am new to this so I am not sure how to go about this. I am a worried mama right now. My son who is asthmatic just had to go to the ER due to breathing problems. The said it was just his asthma due to no fever. But with it coming to close to comfort near me I am worried and want to know the true symptoms. I hear so many different things that it has me so worried. My daughter is asthmatic too but so far no breathing problems right now. Please can someone give me some possible reassurance...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi @Karleeta we completely understand your concern and fear. Fever and a dry cough are symptoms of a virus. If your son is not running a fever it very well could just be an asthma flare. I hope he is feeling better? The best thing you can do is to make sure both your children take their asthma medications as directed. Do they have asthma action plans? Keep them at home as much as possible, wipe down surfaces with disinfectant wipes, wash hands often and keep them from touching their faces.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
This is going to be the "unpopular" opinion, but it is one more should consider. You will not eliminate disease with a paper mask. You cannot prevent a future asthma attack by stockpiling medication. The virus takes about two weeks to become apparent and it will definitely have killed you within the month if it is going to be your cause of death. Do what you've always done, but do it better. Be clean. Be aware of your condition. Be considerate of those around you. Most of all, be rational.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Lorene, Thank you for responding back to me. He is feeling a little better. Thank you for asking. They do have Asthma Action Plans. They are with grandparents for a couple days while we make sure our home is disinfectant really good. They are already on top with the washing of the hands and using hand sanitizer. We have been stressing that with them. I know their school just postponed it for another week. I know they will be staying home and not go no where. That is another reason why they...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi there! I am so glad he is feeling a little better. It can take such a long time to recover from an asthma flare. Sending healing mojo your way! I have been carrying disinfectant wipes with me and literally have one in my hand all the time to open doors and hit elevator buttons. I'm also using my elbows and hips instead of my hands as much as possible. The virus can live on some surfaces for up to 3 days, so a good cleaning sounds like a good plan, and will probably give you some peace of...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hello, As someone who will be 60 yrs of age this year, has asthma and moderate obstructive disease, I am wondering if I should be staying home from work? I just returned to work after having Type A flu and pneumonia (yes, I did get my flu vaccine :-)). This was my second time having the flu this winter! I work in a pediatric practice; so children/families come in to be seen who are sick. The schools are all closed in my state, a national state of emergency has been declared in light of the...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Welcome C St Ours - that's are complicated situation. It would be best to call or message your doctor to get their advice on ways you best protect yourself or if you should distance yourself from people who are potentially sick. Have you discussed options with your supervisor about possibly working in areas where you might have less exposure?
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
It really bothers me that these tables always say there are no aches and pains for allergy sufferers. There are for some of us!
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
to echo @Lara , same for sore throat and chest tightness, particularly for those with both asthma and allergies. Postnasal drip causes a sore throat for me and I always have a tight chest around dust and ragweed. Those are the literal symptoms of COVID-19... I guess you can't please everyone and nothing is ever clear, ha. We have to do our best to pay close attention to our bodies, ask ourselves if what we are experiencing is unusual and act accordingly.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi - you and @Lara bring up good points! Do you find that you are more in tune with your body due to allergies and asthma? I think I am, although I still often ignore signs and symptoms :-) A fever may be the 1 symptom that notifies us something else may be going on.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Sometimes. Sometimes it is exhausting feeling ill the time, so I try to disengage from what is happening to my body. I very seldom get a fever, even with pneumonia.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
In a couple of years, I’ll turn 60...work in retail too. Though i feel strong and somewhat healthy for a person with asthma, i have to admit that i am worried and scared coz of covid. Am not sure that if i ask my company for a leave of absence if they’d accept, what should i do?
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi Ruby and welcome. I understand your concern about being a high-risk category and being exposed to a lot of different people working in retail. What about talking to your supervisor about doing more things away from customers? Restocking or inventory maybe?
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Thanks for the prompt reply. Unfortunately though, restocking and inventory is also being done outside, along the aisles. And with the store that am working with, they are 80% more concerned with customer satisfaction. I have requested for a doctors appointment and I’ll check with him if he can give me a certification or something that i can give to our management. Thanks much.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
hello , i have excerice enducted asthma and i never get asthma atacks beside when i run or do a lot of sports , did not have any atacks since like 7 months im i still going to die if contact covid 19 ? or is it only for people that have uncontrolled asthma , last time i did the flow test i scored 250
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Why are we not advised to wear a mask to keep from getting the virus when people can spread the virus before they even know they have it? I understand that the mask can make you want to touch your face more, etc... But to me, it would make more sense to wear the mask to keep from getting it.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
I understand completely. It can be exhausting to live with chronic conditions and we all need to find a way cope, which is challenging. All we can do is follow the guidelines to distance ourselves from people and places, and pay attention to our bodies for anything that feels different. Please keep us updated on how your are feeling - sending health vibes! Lorene
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi Sarah, Surgical masks will not protect us from incoming germs or the virus. Those masks only keep things from coming out of your mouth, which is why it is recommended to wear one if you are sick to help protect others. The only mask that may help is a N95 mask/respirator that fits well. The mask does not keep your hands from carrying the virus, or protect your eyes, etc. These masks are often hot and can be very hard or uncomfortable to breathe through, especially if you have asthma. The...
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
What are the recommendations for a nurse (with moderate asthma) working direct patient care in a hospital do?
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
Hi Peach, here are the CDC recommendations for healthcare professionals.
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Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know

AAFA Community Services ·
I had a question regarding albuterol nebulizer treatments re: coronavirus. My son and I have asthma and both have the machines to give ourself treatments as needed. My mom recently saw something on TV where a doctor at a hospital said they'd stopped giving those treatments in hospital because it somehow made it easier for the virus to attack the lungs. This is secondhand from her, as I was not able to see the same report. What can you tell me with regard to folks who use these nebulizer...
 
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