Prevention like social distancing and cleaning are keys to not getting Covid-19, but people who suffer from asthma can still get the virus. Asthma is a common condition, affecting 1 in 13 people.i These individuals still care for families and interact with others at work or school, so some exposures are unavoidable.
1. Avoiding asthma triggers during Covid-19 is important. Many people feel anxious and are experiencing added stress from the Covid-19 virus. Strong emotions are known to trigger asthma attacks. Your doctor may have resources that help make you manage this Covid-19 related anxiety. Seasonal allergies also will commonly trigger asthma. A well placed HEPA filter in a house can help reduce asthma triggers if you have Covid-19.
2. Maintaining effective asthma prevention and having rescue treatments ready. Ask your Health Care Provider about new treatments available through the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization. For example, gammaCore SapphireTM CV (nVNS) can be used to treat patients with known or suspected Covid-19 who are experiencing exacerbation of asthma-related dyspnea and reduced airflow. gammaCore SapphireTM CV may achieve improved airflow and may reduce the need for standard of care respiratory distress treatments.
3. Having the right supplies on hand. If you have Covid-19 you must have at least a 30-day supply of the right supplies on hand. This includes items like a thermometer, syringes, nasal aspirator, saline spray, alcohol wipes, and prescriptions, like a gammaCore SapphireTM CV.
4. Staying in close communications with your doctor and updating your asthma action plan. Know the difference between an allergy and Covid-19 flare up. Particularly knowing the difference between an asthma cough and a Covid-19 cough, so you know how to treat yourself properly.
5. Not getting others sick. In general, people affected with asthma are already vigilant. They didn’t need Covid-19 to do this. Prevention for others in your house includes safe practices such as social distancing, handwashing, wearing masks and gloves, and disinfecting surfaces. But be careful to avoid disinfectants that can trigger asthma attacks. In many cases families may want the individual affected with asthma to not participate in the cleaning because the cleaning agents or dust can be asthma triggers. If possible, let someone else do the cleaning. If you’re around make sure you’re not in the room and ventilate the rooms wherever possible.
Overall, people affected with asthma who have contracted Covid-19 need to maintain control of their asthma while they recover. Following these tips and having the proper treatment under the guidance of a healthcare provider can help these patients recover from Covid-19 safely.
i CDC. https://www.aafa.org/asthma-facts/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Centers%20for,in%2013%20people%20have%20asthma.&text=More%20than%2025%20million%20Americans,and%208.4%20percent%20of%20children.
ii Rauf, D., Sullivan, K., Rauf, D., Upham, B., Millard, E., & Landau, M. (2020). How to Manage COVID-19 Risk if You Have Asthma: Everyday Health. Retrieved November 17, 2020, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/coronavirus/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-coronavirus-if-you-have-asthma/