Are Asthmatics at High Risk
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our patients have asked if having asthma places them in the “high risk” group, those that are more likely to become infected with the virus and if they get sick, to have a severe illness leading to hospitalization, respiratory failure and even death.
There is no evidence of increased risk of infection with COVID-19 in asthmatics and asthmatics are not more likely to die from COVID-19.
Early on in the pandemic, some experts did warn about the theoretical risk that those with asthma could catch the virus more easily and have a more severe illness if infected. Now however, as more data from around the world has become available, it is clear that there is no evidence of increased risk of infection with COVID-19 in asthmatics and that asthmatics are not more likely to die from COVID-19.
Are Steroids for Asthma Safe?
Another misconception is that steroid use is dangerous if you become infected with COVID-19. There is no evidence that steroid use, in any form, used for the prevention and treatment of asthma, increases the risk of infection with COVID-19 or will make an infection more severe. Actually, the opposite is true. Asthmatics are more likely to get into trouble if they become infected with COVID-19 when their asthma is poorly controlled because they have not been taking there medications. In fact, inhaled and oral steroids should be used to prevent and treat an asthma attack, even in patients with COVID-19.
The bottom line is that all asthmatic should make keeping their asthma under good control through regular use of their preventive medications a top priority. Doing this will keep you from joining the “high risk” group.