Much has been said about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it impacts individuals with asthma—a common condition in which the airways narrow and swell. If you have asthma, you may be feeling a little nervous or overwhelmed about your risk of contracting coronavirus and its potentially serious complications. To fight fear with facts, let’s take a closer look at coronavirus and what asthma patients should keep in mind during this pandemic.
Does Asthma Increase My Risk of Catching COVID-19?
People with asthma do not have a higher risk of acquiring coronavirus than people without asthma. In fact, it’s still relatively uncommon when compared to other illnesses like influenza and colds, and the majority of people who have COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms that can be addressed at home.
What About My Risk of Complications?
There’s no reason to live in fear of coronavirus. However, asthma patients should be particularly mindful about reporting any new or worsening respiratory symptoms—such as shortness of breath, cough, and chest tightness—to a medical professional and seeking emergency care when appropriate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals with moderate to severe asthma may be at an increased risk of experiencing potentially serious complications from COVID-19.
The following is a list of severe COVID-19 symptoms that warrant emergency care. Call 911 immediately if you or someone around you develops these symptoms:
- Lingering chest pain or pressure
- Trouble breathing
- Sudden confusion
- Loss of consciousness
- Bluish lips or face
When calling 911, be sure to notify the operator that you are seeking help for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
It’s worthwhile to note that COVID-19 is a new disease that has plenty of scientists and physicians searching for answers. For instance, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology points out that the CDC’s claims regarding the increased likelihood of COVID-19 complications in asthma patients are still largely unproven. While we wait for the medical community to discover more definitive answers to this disease, it’s important to play it safe and be proactive about protecting your health.
What Steps Should I Take to Protect Myself if I Have Asthma?
There is currently no curative treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. Still, the good news is that there are several relatively easy steps you can take to minimize your risk of exposure to this virus and other infectious diseases. The CDC recommends the following measures for asthma patients:
- Avoid crowds and people who are sick
- Avoid non-essential air travel and cruise ships
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Use common sense and try to keep space between you and others
- If someone in your household is sick, make sure they remain isolated
- Don’t share personal items like clothes, towels, cups, and silverware
- Keep your asthma under control and follow your asthma action plan
- Don’t make any changes to medications without speaking with a physician
- Stock up on your medications and other important supplies
- Avoid asthma triggers and know how to use your inhaler
In addition to these measures, consider sharing any anxieties you may have with a loved one or mental health professional. Speak up! Mental health is a vital part of your overall well-being. Plus, too much stress and worry can exacerbate asthma symptoms and potentially trigger an asthma attack.
How DispatchHealth Can Help
At DispatchHealth, we understand that these are unique and challenging times. It isn’t always easy—or wise—to travel to a crowded urgent care clinic or physician’s office when you’re feeling under the weather. Thankfully, we’re here to help. As an on-call medical care provider, DispatchHealth can promptly send a qualified medical team to your home. This way, you can receive the expert care you need without exposing yourself to other sick people or a germ-ridden waiting area. We can treat nearly everything an emergency room can and cater to people of all ages. Plus, our prices are comparable to that of an urgent care clinic.
Additionally, we’ve expanded our on-call medical services to include in-home coronavirus testing as well as urgent care for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. To ensure the safety of our medical teams and patients, our professionals wear full protective gear and adhere to the most stringent of sanitization protocols.
For world-class in-home care during the coronavirus crisis, contact DispatchHealth today. We’re easy to reach—just give us a call, use our app, or go online to request care.
DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies.
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