What is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is designated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). First reports of cases from Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province of China. Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets, resembling the spread of influenza. With droplet transmission, virus released in the respiratory secretions when a person with infection coughs, sneezes, or talks can infect another person if it makes direct contact with the mucous membranes; infection can also occur if a person touches an infected surface and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. The incubation period for COVID-19 is thought to be within 14 days following exposure, with most cases occurring approximately 4-5 days after exposure. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from asymptomatic individuals (or individuals within the incubation period) has also been described, extent to which this occurs remains unknown.

Who is at risk for COVID-19?

Anyone can be infected with the novel coronavirus — no race, skin color, gender, age, and location that are exempted from the pandemic. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state the following to be at high risk: front-line medical workers, those caring for individuals with COVID-19, older adults, and those individuals with underlying chronic medical conditions (diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease).

Asthma and COVID-19 Risks – What You Should Know

People with asthma are classified as being at increased risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes, although evidence is emerging that may point in the opposite direction. Under normal circumstances, viral infections are a big driver of flares in asthma patients. But recent research indicates asthma patients with COVID-19 do not appear to have a higher rate of hospitalization or mortality compared with other COVID-19 patients. While this data is intriguing, there is not enough information currently available to support these claims. People with moderate to severe asthma should continue to remain vigilant in maintaining good asthma control. Here are some ways to keep your asthma well controlled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Follow your asthma action plan: keep your asthma under control by following your asthma action plan.
  • Continue your current medications, including any inhalers and biologics previously prescribed. The goal is to keep your asthma as well controlled as possible and that means being compliant with your medications. Bernstein Allergy Group as a drive-thru option for all biologic shot patients so that there is no interruption in treatment. Some of these medications are also available in a pre-filled syringe that can be given at home.
  • Don’t stop any medications or change your asthma treatment plan without talking to your healthcare provider.
  • Discuss any concerns about your treatment with your healthcare provider. Also, know how to use your inhaler appropriately (proper technique).
  • Avoid your asthma triggers (i.e. cold air, pollens, animal dander, strong scents/odors). Keep co-morbid conditions like allergic rhinitis and gastroesophageal reflux under good control.

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