Asthma and COVID-19: What Is The Risk?

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. 

covid update

Update: Allergen Immunotherapy During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Begining June 1, the temporary modification to the allergy immunotherapy administration schedule will end. While we will continue to follow all guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Arizona Health Departement to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission to our patients and staff, we will cautiously resume our normal allergy immunotherapy schedule.

  • If you are on a build-up schedule and have been receiving injections every 2-4 weeks during the temporary hold, you can now resume weekly to bi-weekly injections.
  • If you are receiving maintenance allergy injections every 2-4 weeks, no change in schedule is needed.
  • We ask that all patients entering the office wear a face mask.
  • All patients coming in for an allergy injection will be asked about recent travel, potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus, and recent respiratory symptoms and will have their temperature checked.
  • Seating in the wating area will be modified to maximize safe distancing.
  • Because of limited seating, we ask that you do not bring family members into the waiting area and that only one adult accompany a child.

Please do not come to the office if you have a fever or suspect that you have been exposed; call our office first.

If you have any questions, please call 480-705-8844 or email:


TeleMedicine Appointments Are Now Available

You can now schedule a new patient consultation or follow-up visit with Dr. Millhollon without having to come into the office and at a time that is convenient, including nights and weekends.

For more information, call our office at 705-8844 or send us a note at

Coronavirus Update

As the global and local effect of coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve, our practice is firmly committed to the health and safety of our patients. We are closely monitoring the changing situation and complying with recommendations from the CDC and The Arizona Health Department.    In addition, we are implementing the following change to our usual operating procedures:                                

Before Coming to the Office

  • If you have had a fever (temperature above 100) within the past week, do not come to the office. Call our office for further instructions.


  • All patients and family members coming to our office will be asked about symptoms, travel, contacts, and have their temperature checked before entering the office.

Social Distancing

  • We will limit the number of patients in our waiting room at any given time to 10.
  • We ask that no more than 2 family members accompany a patient into the office.
  • To minimize the time in the waiting room, all patients with an appointment to see the doctor will be taken immediately to an exam room after checking in.


  • To reduce the need for travel and visits to the office, we are now offering secure, video-based appointments with Dr. Millhollon
  • Weekend and evening appointments are available
  • Please call our office for more information.

Allergy Immunotherapy and Biologic Injections

  • After the initial screening, patients will go to the injection room as usual
  • After your injection, you may wait in the courtyard or waiting room with the goal of maintaining at least 6 feet from any other patient with no more than 10 patients in the waiting room.
  • After your wait time, you may come to the outside window to have your arm checked and indicate that all is well before leaving.

Stay Healthy

At this time, the risk of serious illness from coronavirus infection in Arizona is small. However, the risk is greater for some groups including the elderly and those with chronic health problems including asthma and immunodeficiency.

Like all viral respiratory infections, Covid -19 can trigger an asthma attack. Keeping your asthma under good control should, therefore, be a high priority – as always but particularly at this time. This includes taking your preventative medications daily as prescribed, reviewing your asthma action plan, and making sure all medications are available and up-to-date. Patients who take oral steroids such as prednisone daily are also at increased risk. These high-risk groups need to be particularly vigilant about virus avoidance measures such as regular hand washing and avoiding unnecessary exposure to large groups of people.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.