COVID-19: Important Information for Patients with Complications stemming from Asthma, Allergies, and Autoimmune disorders
The Effects on Asthma and Allergy Conditions by COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic frightens a lot of people and traumatically disrupted our social lives. Since virus SARS-COV-2 (the virus which cause COVID-19 syndrome) may attack the lungs there is obvious concern for patients with chronic respiratory diseases including asthma.
Initial information about risk of severe disease from China implied that the patients with asthma are more likely to suffer from severe infection and death from this syndrome. It is very important now to recognize that currently there is no evidence implying in the United States (studies in New York and Atlanta) and most recent large studies from England, that patients with asthma are at a higher risk of dying when attacked by the virus.
Though this may not be true for patients with COPD which differ substantially from allergic asthma. Please remember that we are in continuous process of acquiring this information and this current point of view may change in the future.
It is critical if you have asthma and allergy that you protect yourself against exacerbation as this potentially puts you at higher risk from acquiring COVID-19.
Therefore it is appropriate to continue all your current medications prescribed by your physician for controlling your symptoms including inhaled steroids and biologicals as Omalizumab, Mepolizumab, Reslizumab, Benralizumab and Dupilmab. It is also interesting to note that allergy immunotherapy seems to restore the production of interferon which is one of the main antiviral human responses thus may have effect on viral infections in allergy patients (studies from John Hopkins).
Recently loss of smell and taste was recognized as symptoms of covid infection. As you know these symptoms are quiet common for patients with allergy specially those which suffer with polyps in the nose. Thus proper diagnosis of Covid infection needs to take proper medical evaluation and not only to be based on laboratory test especially that some 70% patients with positive test results by PCR don’t have any symptoms.
Prophylactic measures are always the best in the setting of pandemics and please remember to continue practicing social distancing, washing hands, wearing mask when necessary, and other recommendations from the CDC.