Those with asthma not at greater risk for COVID-19

An asthma patient uses an inhaler. (Photo via Cleveland Clinic News Service)

People with asthma may be wondering if they’re at higher risk for COVID-19, and it turns out they are not. However, they are more likely to be hospitalized if they contract the virus.

“The analyses of data that we have done showed that asthma probably will increase your risk for being hospitalized by a little bit, but it does not necessarily increase your risk for death,” said Joe Zein, MD, who specializes in pulmonary medicine for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Zein and his team have been conducting research since May of last year. He said while asthma doesn’t necessarily increase a person’s risk for COVID-19 related death, it’s still important to take normal precautions.

If you do contract the virus, be sure to let your doctor know. You should also have a one month supply of medication available while in quarantine. The same goes for a pulse oximeter to check your blood oxygen levels. And if your symptoms worsen, don’t hesitate to go to the hospital.

Dr. Zein said it’s also important get vaccinated if you haven’t already.

“The question we always have or encounter is, ‘Oh, I have asthma and I have all those allergies, is this a contraindication for taking the COVID vaccine?’ and the answer is no. Unless you have an allergy to one of the components of the vaccine, you should be okay to take the vaccine and you should take the vaccine,” said Dr. Zein.

He said research is also underway to see if inhalers with corticosteroids can help lessen the symptoms of COVID-19. Current data shows some promise, but it’s still in the very early stages.