The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading at an incredible rate worldwide. Given the fact that the virus affects the lungs, in some places people lack “rescue” inhalers.
All people are in panic. But people with respiratory problems like asthma are most worried. According to studies by the World Health Organization, people who suffer from asthma are more vulnerable to getting the virus.
This is because the viral infection of COVID-19 affects the respiratory tract of a person, and this can trigger an asthma attack. People with asthma are at higher risk because infection can lead to serious complications. The infection may be accompanied by pneumonia or acute respiratory infections, which puts a very high strain on the respiratory system.
Due to the fact that the virus appeared relatively recently, data and any information on how the virus affects people with asthma, and whether they are really more likely to become infected than healthy people, is not confirmed. In addition, a recent study in which 140 infected people took part showed that asthma is not a factor that increases the risk of the virus infection.
Dr. Stewart says that people with asthma may be more likely to get infected because they are frequently on steroids, and it can affect the immune system. But this is nothing more than a poorly confirmed suspicion. Nevertheless he adds, that people with asthma need to remain on their inhaled steroid or oral steroid to control their asthma.
However, despite the creepy information that is on the Internet, even asthmatics can protect themselves from the virus and here are some tips on how to avoid becoming infected with COVID-19.
Like healthy people, asthmatics must follow the basic rules of how to avoid a viral infection: avoid large crowds, disinfect hands and surfaces, wash your hands more often, especially when you go outside, and keep a social distance.
The CDC has published special guidelines specifically for people with asthma. The first step is to systematically take asthma medications. Considering the fact that quarantine can last several months, it is recommended to make sure that you have a sufficient supply of inhalers and a 30-day supply of medicines without a prescription and supplies.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) emphasized the fact that in some areas of the United States there is a shortage of fast-acting albuterol inhalers, which are essential for exacerbated symptoms and asthma attacks. The lack of inhalers is associated with an increased demand for albuterol inhalers in hospitals for the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19.
If you face with such a problem, then Purvi Parih, MD, an allergist and immunologist from the field of allergies and asthma, recommends contacting your doctor to prescribe another type of inhaler. A replacement may be a levalbuterol inhaler.
However, the best way to avoid not only a shortage of inhalers, but also the virus itself, is to try to be at home during quarantine and take the medicines prescribed for you. In addition, now is the spring season of allergies, which can cause serious complications.
Do not neglect disinfection. Clean hands and surfaces that you often touch, while using anti-allergenic and odorless cleaners that do not trigger an asthma attack.
Despite the fact that the situation in the world exerts moral pressure on people, try to remain calm and avoid stress. Strong emotions also cause an asthma attack. Therefore, take care of your mental health, protect yourself from unnecessary news and trust only trusted sources.
If you feel the need to share your feelings with someone – do not keep emotions in yourself. Share your concerns with a close friend, family, doctors, or just a consultant. Or you can contact the Office of the Substance Abuse and Psychiatric Care (SAMHSA) hotline at any time at 1-800-985-5990.
Strengthen your immunity and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Compliance with basic recommendations, healthy sleep and nutrition, physical activity will help you avoid COVID-19.