When a global pandemic forces drastic lifestyle changes, and no one is certain what the next moment holds, it can be difficult to separate facts from supposition. However, for those with asthma, the facts are extremely important.
What is COVID-19?
You have probably heard a lot about Coronavirus, but understanding how it spreads is the first step toward protecting yourself from it. COVID-19 is highly contagious and spread through person-to-person contact and to a lesser extent, contact with infected droplets on hard surfaces. There is some indication that the disease can be spread through suspended droplets in the air.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include the following:
- Loss of Taste and Smell
- Difficulty Breathing
- Body Aches
An interesting thing about COVID-19 is that it can be spread from both animals to humans as well as from humans to humans. Healthcare professionals are currently working around the clock to develop a vaccine that will stop the spread of this virus. Until then, however, it is important to take certain precautions.
Who is at the Greatest Risk?
Did you know that according to the CDC, 60% of Americans live with a chronic disease? While the coronavirus affects people differently, it can pose serious risks to certain individuals. Those at greater risk include the elderly, the very young, and those with chronic health diseases like asthma. Since humans possess little immunity to the virus, those with weakened immune systems have a harder time fighting off the symptoms.
How Can Asthma Sufferers Take Control?
If you or a loved one suffer from asthma, you need to stay guarded against COVID-19. Since the virus attacks your lungs, it has the potential to compromise your health in multiple ways, including triggering asthma attacks. While there is little known about the overall effects of the virus on people with asthma, you can still protect yourself by taking the following preventative measures.
1. Avoid public areas.
Traveling, partying, or strolling through the general public is not a good idea. The coronavirus spreads quickly through the community, so embrace the idea of “social distancing” until the worst has passed.
2. Wash your hands and sanitize your belongings.
You have likely heard it a thousand times already but wash your hands constantly. Your hands touch your eyes, nose, mouth, food, TV remote, belongings, etc. If you happen to come in contact with COVID-19, your hands are capable of spreading it faster than you think. Take care to sanitize regularly-used items once or twice a day, including your phone, computer, or and tablet.
3. Refrain from physical contact.
Hugs, handshakes, and close contact are off-limits for a while. Every person is a potential carrier, and although it may be difficult, your life and health are worth a little distance. Remember, many people remain asymptomatic while still carrying the virus in their body, so even if a friend appears to be healthy, use caution.
4. Monitor your asthma daily.
More than ever, keep a close eye on your asthma symptoms, triggers, flare-ups, etc. Keep track of important information, take your prescribed asthma medication, and stay in constant communication with your doctor. This is also a great time to update your asthma attack action plan. While many individuals dismiss the coronavirus as nothing more than a mass panic, it needs to be taken seriously. Your lung health is of the utmost priority.
What Should You Do if You Think You Have COVID-19?
If you suspect you have the coronavirus or even the flu, call your doctor and let them know immediately. Give them the chance to take any necessary precautions before visiting the office. There is no need to panic, but “letting the sickness run its course” is never a good idea in the case of those with chronic health conditions.
According to the CDC, you should quarantine immediately upon exposure. Quarantine for at least 10 days after your symptom and 3 days after your last, whichever happens second. Be sure to let your employer know, as well as any friends, family members, or coworkers who may have been exposed to you post-contamination.