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Coronavirus and asthma

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The virus is passed from person to person, mainly through saliva or discharge from the nose of a carrier. The virus can infect anyone and everyone, but individuals with underlying health conditions, such as asthma, are more likely to develop serious complications. The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, tiredness, and a dry cough, but can also include shortness of breath, a sore throat, and aches and pains.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Plauto Filho Written by our editorial team Last reviewed 16-01-2024

Why are people with asthma at risk during this pandemic?

If you suffer from asthma and contract a disease that makes you more susceptible to respiratory infections, such as COVID-19, it can exacerbate existing symptoms severely.

What should people with asthma do during this time?

If you have asthma, you are in a high risk group and need to take extra care during this period. Firstly, do not go outside if not completely necessary; keep your visits to the supermarket or pharmacy to a minimum, or ask people to do your shopping for you.

It is recommended that you continue to take your preventer inhaler daily as prescribed, and always carry your reliever inhaler. Make sure you always have an inhaler available in case of emergency. Here at HealthExpress, we offer a wide selection of asthma inhalers which can be delivered to your door, without you having to leave your house. Inhalers come in two groups, preventers and relievers, and both forms of treatment are available to buy at HealthExpress. Preventers, such as Flixotide and Clenil Modulite, are recommended for daily use and aim to reduce airway sensitivity as well as swelling and mucous production. Relievers, such as Ventolin, Salamol, and Bricanyl, relax and open airways during an attack, to help deal with the obstruction as well as the inflammation.

It is important to remember that even though the symptoms of asthma and Coronavirus are similar, they appear for different reasons, and your inhaler only works on symptoms caused by asthma. To help you tell the difference between asthma and other respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, it might be good to keep a peak flow diary where you can keep track of your asthma. This lets you know that your medicine is working, and you can see if anything else might have an effect on your lungs.

Staying inside is not easy, and it is therefore important to support your wellbeing during this time. You can do this by making sure you get some fresh air by going out in the garden, or have the windows open in your home. It is also recommended to stay active; do yoga, stretch, or walk around as much as possible to make your blood flow in your body. It is also important to stay social and talk to people, even though you can't see them face to face. Staying social will keep you from feeling excluded, and can really help if you are struggling with your mental health.

What happens if you get COVID-19 and suffer from asthma?

If you think you have contracted the Coronavirus, it is important that you stay calm and don't rush to a hospital or emergency rooms. Instead, call 111, your GP, or access the 111 corona online service; they can advise you on what to do next. You should keep taking your asthma medicine as per usual. If your COVID-19 symptoms don't go away after 7 days, if they worsen, or if you have trouble breathing, please call 111 for advice, or 999 for emergency care. If you have an asthma attack, call 999 and tell them that you have COVID-19 symptoms, as well as suffer from asthma.

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