Coronavirus outbreak: How does asthma factor in?

As the number of coronavirus cases across New York continues to increase, people with compromised immune systems are being told to take extra precautions -- but what about those with asthma?

News 12 Staff

Mar 13, 2020, 10:10 PM

Updated 1,535 days ago

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As the number of coronavirus cases across New York continues to increase, people with compromised immune systems are being told to take extra precautions -- but what about those with asthma?
Doctors are urging people with respiratory conditions to follow the same guidelines as non-sufferers like frequent hand washing, avoiding large crowds, and using your elbow to cough. They say in this crisis, people with mild to chronic asthma should always have their inhaler on them.
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"It's very important for everyone especially asthmatics to take the medications if they don't take the medications once in a while or say to themselves I don't need it, now is the time. If you've been prescribed, take them every day," said Dr. David Rosenstreitch.
Dr. Rosenstreitch is the director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. He says asthma sufferers should not worry that their medication will make them more vulnerable to the coronavirus.
 "As far as we know, the medicines are safe even if you get the virus and medicine is safe," said Dr. Rosenstreitch.
He advises asthmatics to have an ample supply of medication just in case. "Make sure you have at least a two-week supply of medication at all times and just in case you have to quarantine yourself you won't be able to come out. Follow the usual precautions, stay away from people, self-isolate if you can," said Dr. Rosenstreitch.
Doctors say sufferers shouldn't confuse typical asthma symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing with signs of coronavirus. They say if you're exhibiting flu-like symptoms, you should call a doctor immediately.


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