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How does the COVID-19 outbreak affect asthma patients?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that people with asthma are more likely to become seriously ill when they get coronavirus infection. Patients with comorbidities such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are already known to be more susceptible to infection. In the same capacity, asthma patients are also more likely to see severe symptoms of the disease.

How does COVID-19 infection affect asthma patients?

Coronavirus infection is a respiratory virus that affects the nose, throat, and lungs, which can be aggravated if the patient also has a history of asthma. “If asthma patients are infected with the virus, it can cause an acceleration of asthma,” said Dr. Prashant Chhajed, Director, Lung Sleep and Care Center, Mumbai.

Dr. Parthasarathy Bhattacharya, a consulting pulmonologist at the Pulmo Research and Care Institute, said: “The virus can affect everyone. People with comorbidities like asthma have a higher death rate. We don’t have statistics showing that they are more likely to be infected. ”

He said that chronic ailments impede the body’s ability to fight, thereby increasing the chance of succumbing to the disease. “80% of people only have mild symptoms. 15% of patients require hospitalization and only 2.5% of people succumb to the disease. It is this 2.5% that we need to worry about, ”said Dr. Bhattacharya.

Should an asthma patient continue to take medication?

Dr. Chhajed said: “It is important that asthma patients do not stop receiving their prescription medications. They should continue to take their medications according to their prescription, not stop or reduce their dose. Regular medications can help against an acute asthmatic attack that is possible in the case of an infection.

“Given the current situation of a blockage in most areas, it is also difficult to get to a doctor on time. Therefore, it is even more important that asthmatic patients continue their medications religiously and be more careful, “said Dr. Parthasarathy Bhattacharya.

What precautions should asthma patients take at the time of the coronavirus pandemic?

“The first and most important thing is that people with asthma continue to take their medications according to their prescription. I would also like to advise them to stay away from crowded areas, to stay indoors and to practice social distancing, ”said Dr. Prashant Chhajed.

Dr. Bhattacharya adds that it is important that people do not panic in a situation like this. “If you start experiencing symptoms, the first step is for you and your family to be quarantined. Manage your symptoms for the next few days. They are more likely to die after a few days. Get tested if your symptoms persist for more than two weeks or if you have trouble breathing, “he said.

Symptoms of coronavirus infection are persistent low-grade fever, dry cough, and body aches. The virus also manifests itself as pneumonia in severe cases. Loss of sense of smell and taste have also been found to be symptoms of the new coronavirus infection.

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