Control asthma to keep COVID at bay; expert

“To decrease chances of exposure to COVID 19, Asthma and COPD patients should keep their disease under control with proper inhalers and supportive treatments.”

Addressing a virtual live health session on “ Fear of COVID infection in asthma & COPD patients”, Dr. Suresh Goyal, senior consultant of pulmonary and sleep medicine at IVY Hospital, Mohali said on Friday that COVID infection can cause many complications in those asthma and COPD patients who fail to control their disease.

They should avoid crowded places, dust, pollen, and smoking besides remaining away from the pets, said Dr. Goyal adding in India about  35 million persons suffering from asthma.

20-30 percent of asymptomatic cases may have small multiple patches in the lungs. In most of them, these patches clear spontaneously without leaving any residual damage. But in some cases, it did cause scarring of lungs, he maintained.

The chronic smokers are at risk of getting severe COVID infection as smoking leads to weakened immunity, he remarked.

“We can’t say that the pandemic will not spillover to 2021 but what we can say is that the curve will be flatter instead of rising very sharply in the coming few months,” he asserted.

The Covid-19 infection has now spread across India and has reached smaller cities and rural areas.  Considering the size of our population, the number of cases will rise further for some months. Recently we are seeing a resurgence of cases, he said.

We need to be strict and ensure people wearing masks properly so that people don’t spread the infection to others, he asserted.

Small gatherings are still a bit dangerous because there can be a number of people who are COVID positive but are asymptomatic, he said adding there have been instances where people had small parties and it led to the spread of the infection to others.

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