Asthma doesn’t seem to make COVID-19 more severe or deadly for those who suffer from the disease, according to a statement from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. ACAAI president Mark Corbett, MD, said, “We’ve been relieved to see over the past several years that our patients whose asthma is well controlled don’t seem to be getting COVID-19 at a higher rate or suffering from it more severely.”
“We’ve had more than 20 studies submitted to our journal in the last two years that examine the relationship between asthma, and the rate and severity of COVID-19 infection,” says Mitchell Grayson, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, ACAAI’s scientific journal.
A recent Annals study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, examined 435 patients suspected of having COVID-19. “The results showed those with asthma were more likely to test negative for COVID-19 than those without asthma,” says Dr. Grayson. “And while it’s true that patients with asthma face challenges in differentiating between symptoms of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections and routine asthma exacerbations, the studies are showing us that asthma patients aren’t more likely to get severe disease if they do get COVID-19.”
“Especially as we continue to battle COVID-19, anyone with asthma should be aware that they need to protect themselves from all types of respiratory infections, including those caused by the flu,” says Dr. Corbett. “As we move into spring and the flu may be on the wane, asthma sufferers still need to do whatever they can to keep symptoms under control. As allergists, we see patients every day who think their asthma is controlled, when it actually is not. This is not a time when anyone with asthma symptoms wants to land in the hospital. Your allergist can create a plan tailored to you, to help keep you healthy and living your best life.”
According to the ACAAI publication Asthma Management and the Allergist: Better Outcomes at Lower Cost, asthma care provided by allergists is associated with better patient outcomes across a range of important markers. Compared to care provided by generalists, patients getting care from an allergist have fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits, higher ratings for the quality of care, fewer restrictions in activities and improved physical functioning.