Asthma and Covid 19 – research findings

An article published in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has described the symptoms and the allergy status of patients with Covid-19.

The study looked at 140 people in Wuhan who were hospitalised because of Covid-19. They were categorised as non-severe (82) or severe (58) on admission, around 70% of the patients were over 50 years old but the age range was 25-87 years old.

The most commonly experienced symptoms were fever (92%), followed by cough (75%), fatigue (75%), and chest tightness or shortness of breath (37%).

64% of the patients had a co-morbidity. The most common of which were chronic diseases such as hypertension (30%) and diabetes (12%). Only two patients had COPD and two had chronic urticaria (an allergic condition of the skin).

No other allergic conditions were reported, including asthma and allergic rhinitis.

This suggests that asthma, allergic disease and COPD are not likely to be prominent risk factors for COVID‐19.

A more recent report, published on 7º March 2020 in the Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance, reviewed the currently available literature published in English of microbiologically confirmed infections. It reviewed 225 available studies and seems to support the suggestion that chronic pulmonary diseases such as COPD, asthma and bronchiectasis are less common co-morbidities in people with Covid-19. Cardiovascular, digestive and endocrine system diseases were more commonly reported.

These are just two studies. We still don’t know exactly what the risk factors are. As the scientific community learns more about Covid-19 a more precise picture will emerge. More studies are needed.

In the meantime, government advice is for everyone aged 70 and over, regardless of medical conditions, to follow social distancing measures. Full guidance on the social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus is available on gov.uk. This includes information for people with pre-existing health conditions including asthma and COPD. Please read it and follow it.

The full paper in the European Journal of allergy and Clinical Immunology can be read on the Aspergillus Website.

The full report from March 2020, published in the Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance can also be read on the Aspergillus Website.

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