Newswise — ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill (APRIL 19, 2022) – From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, health experts were concerned that people with asthma would not only be more likely to contract the virus, but they would also be more severely affected by the respiratory nature of the disease. They thought due to the way coronavirus attacks, people with asthma would have worse illness.
“Research over the past two years has shown that, contrary to early opinion, asthma doesn’t seem to make COVID-19 more severe or deadly for those who suffer from the disease,” says Mark Corbett, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “We’ve been relieved to see over the past several years that our patients whose asthma is well controlled don’t seem to be getting COVID-19 at a higher rate or suffering from it more severely.”
May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, a time to shine a spotlight on asthma and allergies, along with the latest news and important developments. Many people don’t know that allergists are experts in treating asthma, and that allergies and asthma are closely linked. Allergists are specialists who can help get asthma symptoms under control.
“We’ve had more than 20 studies submitted to our journal in the last two years that examine the relationship between asthma, and the rate and severity of COVID-19 infection,” says Mitchell Grayson, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, ACAAI’s scientific journal. A recent Annals study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, examined 435 patients suspected of having COVID-19. “The results showed those with asthma were more likely to test negative for COVID-19 than those without asthma,” says Dr. Grayson. “And while it’s true that patients with asthma face challenges in differentiating between symptoms of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections and routine asthma exacerbations, the studies are showing us that asthma patients aren’t more likely to get severe disease if they do get COVID-19.”
“Especially as we continue to battle COVID-19, anyone with asthma should be aware that they need to protect themselves from all types of respiratory infections, including those caused by the flu,” says Dr. Corbett. “As we move into spring and the flu may be on the wane, asthma sufferers still need to do whatever they can to keep symptoms under control. As allergists, we see patients every day who think their asthma is controlled, when it actually is not. This is not a time when anyone with asthma symptoms wants to land in the hospital. Your allergist can create a plan tailored to you, to help keep you healthy and living your best life.”
According to the ACAAI publication Asthma Management and the Allergist: Better Outcomes at Lower Cost, asthma care provided by allergists is associated with better patient outcomes across a range of important markers. Compared to care provided by generalists, patients getting care from an allergist have fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits, higher ratings for the quality of care, fewer restrictions in activities and improved physical functioning. For more information about treatment of asthma, and to locate an allergist in your area, visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org.
The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy, and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy, and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.