Why talk about coronavirus and asthma?

Although coronaviruses have been present in our lives forever (practically everyone can become infected with one of these viruses sometime in life), a new one has emerged in Wuhan (China), which has apparently been transmitted from animals to people and subsequently between people. This virus has been designated as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (Sars-CoV2).


The disease caused by the virus is officially called Covid-19 (from the English COronaVIrus Disease-19) and runs with fever, cough and difficulty breathing. As cough and difficulty breathing are also symptoms of asthma, breathe/to Breathe has decided to provide information to patients with asthma about this new disease.


What is coronavirus (Sars-CoV2) and its disease (COVID-19)?

In December 2019, a new coronavirus began to spread. Experts believe that people first contracted the virus in a market of Fish and live animals. Now it’s spreading from person to person. Symptoms of coronavirus may include

Difficulty breathing
Although many cases are mild (80% of cases), respiratory distress is rare and sometimes there is no fever

How do you get it?

The virus is transmitted by coughing and sneezing (it stays in droplets of mucus and saliva). These are heavy drops and quickly fall to the ground or surface of objects People who are less than 2 meters away from someone who is sick with coronavirus are within the area that can reach the drops (as with flu and cold viruses)1 If someone who is sick coughs or sneezes on someone else’s face, they can get infected. It is therefore recommended that sick people cough or sneeze on the elbow or on a disposable handkerchief and throw it and wash their hands. Sick people should also wear a mask to help stop the spread of the disease.

Coronavirus can also live on surfaces where people have coughed and or sneezed. If you touch a surface with the virus and then touch the mouth, nose or eyes, you can get infected and get sick.

Who is at risk of becoming infected and sick with the coronavirus?

At this time, little is known about how coronavirus affects people with asthma A recent study of 140 cases showed no association with asma1. According to who, the highest-risk groups include:

People who care for someone who is sick with coronavirus
Persons over 60 years of age.
People with chronic medical conditions such as:
Heart disease
People with asthma should take precautions such as when any type of respiratory disease is spreading in their community, such as the flu. Relatively few young children have been identified and those infected appear to have a mild disease3.


You can follow live on this link the incidence of coronavirus disease in the WHO records
Access to the American web with coronavirus cases worldwide with contagion and disease curves https://covid19info.live/

What are the most effective measures to prevent contagion?

General measures for the Prevention of viral respiratory infections include the following4:

Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used if soap and water are not available. Video about proper hand washing
People should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
People should avoid close contact with sick people.
Sick people should stay at home (e.g. from work, school).
When coughing or sneezing should be covered with a tissue, followed by the removal of the tissue in the trash.
Frequently touched objects and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected regularly with 1% sodium hypochlorite (bleach). It can be prepared by adding to 100 ml of bleach 900 ml of water.
Is it recommended to use masks to prevent COVID-2019?
With the data we currently have, we have to say yes.

Since the beginning of the pandemic the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendation has been to not use masks by healthy populations, (breathing echoed this recommendation at the top of this page) but is not based on scientific evidence.

A review of 67 studies on the use of masks and/or hand washing concludes that they are useful for reducing the transmission of epidemic respiratory virus4. One of the measures that have proven effective in Korea for the control of the epidemic is the use of masks.

At the present time of the pandemic, where there are asymptomatic carriers, the use of masks by the entire population is crucial if they have to leave the confinement (currently recommended) to go to the pharmacy, food or health services. Anyone could be an asymptomatic carrier and has to avoid transmission of the virus at all costs. This is to protect others from the risk of becoming infected. The use of facial masks is also mandatory for health workers and others who care for someone infected with COVID 19 in nearby settings (at home or at a health care facility).

With the coronavirus circulating, if you are healthy
to protect yourself better wash your hands.
You can encourage your child with the coronavirus game to practice hand washing. Download here

Is there treatment for COVID-19?

Effective treatment for COVID-19 is currently not available, so prevention is of primary concern, and part of this involves identifying close contacts of people with confirmed virus infection.

If my child has asthma and has a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, how do I know if he or she may have contracted COVID-19?

Asthma attacks (which often occur with increased cough and difficulty breathing) are sometimes caused by respiratory viral infections (which are usually accompanied by fever). Most likely, these symptoms are due to an infection by the viruses that usually infect us forever (such as those of the flu and the common cold) and not by the coronavirus.

In 7 studies from China5 published from January to March 2020 in 115 children diagnosed with COVID-19, only one had asthma and the symptoms they presented were as follows:

Cough 64/115 (55.7%)
Fever 72/115 (62.6%
Sore throat 9/40 (22.5%)
Nasal mucus: 10/75 (13.3%)
Gastroenteritis 17/98 17.7%

The Radiological studies that were done were:
Conventional chest X-ray: normal in 52% one affected lung in 32.6% and two affected lungs in 15.2% of those performed
Lung CT:: normal 30.2% one affected lung in 32.3 and two affected lungs in 36.5% of those performed
Therefore the clinical criteria proposed to us to suspect COVID-19, at the present time of community extension of the coronavirus, are not very useful because of the increase of infected people who are asymptomatic and in the case of having asthma the most important thing is to act against the symptoms of asthma coughs, dicks coming out of the chest, difficulty breathing and chest tightness.

However, if your child has been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus and has any of the symptoms listed above, you should tell your doctor or paediatrician by telephone preferably or by phone with your health care provider.

Coronavirus: health tips for people with asthma

When people with asthma get respiratory infections, their asthma symptoms can be triggered. If you are worried about what might happen if you get coronavirus, the best action you can take is to follow your doctor’s recommendations for asthma control:

Continue to give your child the preventive inhaler (inhaled corticosteroids) daily as prescribed. This will help reduce the risk of an asthma attack caused by any respiratory virus, including coronavirus.
Ignore bullies and fake news. Taking preventive treatment does not mask the symptoms, they will simply protect you from your triggers (mites, pollen, colds, exercise, Take your blue relief inhaler with you every day in case your asthma symptoms get worse.
Ask your doctor or paediatrician for an asthma action plan to help you recognize and control asthma symptoms when they appear.
If you have the flu, a cold, or any other respiratory infection, follow our tips to take care of your asthma when you are not well If your asthma symptoms get worse at some point, ask for an appointment the next day with your GP or paediatrician, but don’t forget that
Eye!! NO nebulizations. Yes to inhalers with camera and or face mask. In all areas of care.
If your asthma worsens, go to the health centre with your own inhalation chamber!

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