No less than 339 million people are living with asthma globally with an estimated 176 million asthma attacks reported globally every year.
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating concern and uncertainty for many people around the globe, including those with asthma. The disease can affect the nose, throat, and lungs, cause an asthma attack, and possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease. As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark the 2020 World Asthma Day, people with moderate to severe asthma who may be at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, have been urged to take extra precautions to protect themselves. READ ALSO: We are being stigmatised over coronavirus – Bauchi asthma patients cry out Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. It is a major contributing factor to missed time from school and work, with severe attacks requiring emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Sometimes these asthma attacks can be fatal. The respiratory community has urged persons with asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases, to ensure the disease is effectively controlled by preventing attacks, and keeping well and out of the hospital where possible. There is currently no specific treatment for or vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and experts say the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. People with asthma should continue their current asthma medications and discuss any concerns with their healthcare provider even as scientists struggle to learn more about COVID-19 and to develop specific treatments and vaccines. A study shows that asthma doesn’t raise the chances of getting infected with the COVID-19. But if you do get sick, your symptoms could be worse than other people’s because you already have trouble breathing. READ ALSO: Keeping cats as pets can aggravate asthma attack —Expert If you have shortness of breath, how can you tell what’s causing it? Pay attention to your other symptoms. Early studies have found that 83 per cent to 99 percent of people with COVID-19 have a fever, although it might be mild. There’s no treatment for COVID-19, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Keep taking your asthma medicine. Stay home as much as possible even though the lockdown is being gradually lifted. This lowers your chance of coming into contact with the coronavirus. It’s a good idea to have a long period of supply of food, non-prescription drugs, and other household goods on hand.