COVID-19 Information Center
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- Cold Urticaria
- Coronavirus | COVID-19 Information
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis
- Food Intolerance vs. Food Allergy
- FPIES – Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome
- GERD – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
- Hereditary Angioedema
- Infections and Viruses
- Interstitial Lung Diseases
- Mast Cell Diseases
- Nasal Polyps
- Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS)
- PANDAS – Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections
- Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases (PIDD)
- Pulmonary Hypertension
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus – RSV
- Shared Decision Making
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- VCD – Vocal Cord Dysfunction
Corona Virus: What You Need to Know
Check here weekly for updated information and news webinars, fact sheets, podcasts and infographics to help you.
For People with Asthma, Allergies and Related Diseases
We’re here for you!
We know COVID-19 is a serious concern for you if you have asthma, allergies or related diseases. Right now, experts are learning more about the coronavirus every week. We want to make sure you have the most current, accurate and trustworthy information to manage your health.
Frequently Asked COVID-19 Questions
What is the coronavirus or COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a specific coronavirus that emerged in late 2019. It can cause severe symptoms in some people. The COVID-19 virus has spread globally and is now a pandemic.
Why is COVID-19 considered a pandemic?
COVID-19 has spread worldwide and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a pandemic. Pandemics occur when a new virus emerges to infect people and spread because there is little to no pre-existing immunity to it.
Here is a map of reported COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries around the world.
How is COVID-19 transmitted?
COVID-19 can be spread from person to person. Similar to other colds and viruses, it spreads via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and the virus is released into the air. Droplets generally don’t travel more than a few feet. This is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends social distancing, in which we stay at least 6 feet apart from other people.
COVID-19 can also be spread by touching a contaminated surface or object. (A cell phone or computer keyboard and mouse, for example, are items that can be contaminated with COVID-19.) The virus can be transmitted if you then touch your mouth, eyes or nose.
How long does it take for symptoms to appear once infected with COVID-19?
Why is there so much concern about COVID-19?
Cases of COVID-19 and instances of community spread are reported in all states. Community spread means some people have been infected and it is not known how or where they became exposed to the virus. People in places where there is ongoing community spread of COVID-19 are at higher risk of exposure, with the risk level dependent on your location, according to CDC.
This is a health situation that continues to evolve. CDC also notes the following:
- Healthcare workers caring for patients with COVID-19 are at elevated risk of exposure.
- Close contacts of persons with COVID-19 also are at elevated risk of exposure.
- Travelers returning from affected international locations where community spread is occurring also are at elevated risk of exposure, with increase in risk dependent on location.
In addition, certain people are at higher risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19, according to CDC:
- People 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- People of all ages with serious underlying medical conditions
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms vary in severity. Many cases are mild, but some are severe and life-threatening – usually in people who have some type of compromised immunity.
- Shortness of breath
- Chills (sometimes with shaking)
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- A loss of taste or smell
Some COVID-19 patients are experiencing purple skin marks, rashes or lesions on their toes (and sometimes fingers). Labeled “COVID toes,” sometimes they appear before COVID-19 symptoms begin; sometimes they appear with no other symptoms. Doctors believe they are related to the virus attacking blood vessels. “COVID toes” are not a confirmed symptom of COVID-19 at this time.
What do I do if I’m feeling sick with COVID-19?
If you suspect you may have COVID-19, please stay home and minimize contact with other people. You should call your doctor and discuss your symptoms and potential exposure. Your doctor will decide whether you need to be tested. You may also ask to be tested for COVID-19 by contacting a local health department.
Most people who are mildly ill may need to just self-isolate at home until the virus runs its course.
Other important measures if you are sick:
- Wear a facemask when around other people if instructed to do so by your doctor.
- Separate yourself as much as possible from other people in your home
- Cover your cough and sneezes, or cough into your elbow
- Wash your hands often
- Don’t share objects
Keep in mind there is no approved treatment for the coronavirus and there is currently no vaccine.
When should I seek immediate medical attention?
If you have any of these emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Feeling confused or not able to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
Call 911 if you have a medical emergency. Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.
Are people with asthma at greater risk for catching COVID-19?
People with asthma are not believed to be at higher risk of getting infected with COVID-19 — but if you do get infected you may be at higher risk of getting very sick.
- affect your respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs)
- cause an asthma attack
- possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease.
Who is at the greatest risk for severe COVID-19 complications?
- Older adults, with risk increasing by age.
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions such as:
- Lung diseases including asthma and COPD
- Heart disease
What COVID-19 prevention strategies are recommended by CDC?
The CDC is recommending that, if there is minimal or moderate spread of COVID-19 in your community, you should cancel events for groups of 10+ people or hold them virtually in order to slow the spread of the virus. If there is substantial spread of COVID-19 in the community, the event should be canceled.
Preventive measures are the same as what’s recommended to avoid the flu or the common cold:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet) if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not immediately available.
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
- Avoid sharing anything – including cups, water bottles and eating utensils.
- Disinfect all frequently touched surfaces.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Should I wear a face mask?
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (grocery stores and pharmacies, for example), especially in areas of significant community spread.
The cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials. They are recommended to help slow the spread of the virus and keep people who may have the virus but not know it from transmitting it to others.
The recommended cloth face coverings are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Medical face masks are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
What are recommendations for people with asthma?
More than 24 million people in the United States have asthma and 10 people die from asthma in the United States daily. It is important to practice COVID-19 prevention strategies if you have asthma due to the increased risk of severe complications.
If you have asthma, be sure to continue to follow your Asthma Action Plan or treatment plan.
Additional things you can do:
- Know how to use your inhaler correctly.
- Avoid your asthma triggers.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks daily to protect yourself against COVID-19.
- Avoid disinfectants that can cause an asthma attack.
- Take your asthma medication exactly as prescribed.
- Talk to your healthcare provider, insurer and/or pharmacist about creating an emergency supply of prescription medications such as asthma inhalers. There is no need to hoard medications.
- Make sure that you have 30 days of nonprescription medications and supplies on hand in case you need to stay home for a long time.
How do I manage stress due to COVID-19?
As more cases of COVID-19 are discovered and our communities take action to combat the spread of disease, it is natural for some people to feel concerned or stressed. Strong emotions can trigger an asthma attack. Take steps to help yourself cope with stress and anxiety.
Here’s advice on managing your mental health, stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What do I do if I am unable to obtain an albuterol inhaler?
Certain areas of the United States have experienced a shortage of albuterol quick-relief inhalers, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI). The shortage occurred due to supply chain issues and increased use of albuterol inhalers in hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients in respiratory distress.
Manufacturers are working to resupply pharmacies and resolve the issue. According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the shortage involves:
- ProAir HFA
- Ventolin HFA
- Generics produced by Teva, Prasco and Par Pharmaceuticals
Proventil HFA albuterol inhalers and dry powder albuterol inhalers ProAir Respiclick and ProAir Digihaler are not affected by the shortage.
What to do:
- Contact your allergist or primary care doctor – other inhaler options are available.
- Visit GoodRx.com to search for other pharmacies in your area that may be able to fill your prescription.
- Check your inhaler to see if it still contains medicine in it. If necessary, you can likely use your expired albuterol inhaler as it probably is still at least partially effective, ACAAI says.
- Follow your Asthma Action Plan and avoid your asthma triggers to prevent flare-ups.
- Remember to not overuse your albuterol inhaler, ACAAI advises. One canister should last for months. If you’re using your albuterol inhaler more than twice a week to relieve symptoms, that’s a sign your asthma may not be well-controlled and you should schedule an appointment to see an allergist.
How Has Your Life Been Affected by COVID-19? ➔
Allergy & Asthma Network & embleema are working together to better understand COVID-19
Infographics on COVID-19
Click image to see full size printable version of these infosheets.
Allergy & Asthma Network’s Articles Related to COVID-19
Our June 4, 2020 webinar speakers will explore where the state of COVID-19 and asthma care is at this time and discuss the potential future for schools and businesses.
Our June 4, 2020 webinar will explore the state of COVID-19 is at this time and discuss the health, social and economic impact.
The presenters discussed COVID-19 considerations in the care of asthma & other acute & chronic lung conditions as we slowly reopen our economy and society.
The Network’s CEO Tonya Winders and patient Emily Lentz discuss Emily’s experience with severe asthma and COVID-19.
Presenters looked at COVID-19 and its impact on telehealth, digital health the healthcare system for people with asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Information and tips for managing AERD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes a tip sheet you can download.
Pediatric pulmonologist Michael Bowman, MD discusses the management of children with asthma during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Techniques for managing stress by Dr. Gianine Rosenblum, plus information on when to seek mental health assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presenters looked at the current state of COVID-19, the crisis in New York City, lessons learned, the move to telehealth, and the albuterol shortage.
Presenters discussed the medical, social and psychosocial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and shared helpful interventions for both patients and providers.
Information and tips for avoiding exposure to latex if you have a latex allergy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Includes a tip sheet you can download.
Certain areas of the US are experiencing a shortage of albuterol quick-relief inhalers. Here’s what to do if you’re unable to get your albuterol inhaler.
This podcast, “COVID-19 Pandemic: Are Disadvantaged Communities at Higher Risk?” addresses issues of concern for people with asthma & respiratory diseases.
Tips on managing your asthma so you can avoid asthma flares and to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The webinar presenters looked at the challenges in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak and how to distinguish COVID-19 from allergies and the flu.