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Current Affairs

Covid-19 and asthama risk

Date: 08 July 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A new study suggests that patients of asthma do not seem to be at increased risk of contracting COVID-19, or of more severe illness than someone who is not suffering from asthma.

 

Background

While a person’s vulnerability to severe illness caused by Covid-19 increases with age, asthma sufferers tend to be younger than those with reported high-risk conditions.

 

Details

  • While older age and certain conditions — such as heart disease, high blood pressure, COPD, diabetes, and obesity — are recognised as risk factors for the development and progression of Covid-19, the study found that people with asthma seem to be no worse affected by SARS-CoV-2 than a non-asthmatic person.

  • Among possible reasons, researchers proposed that because of increased attention on the effects of Covid-19 on people in vulnerable populations, those with asthma may become hyper-vigilant about personal hygiene and social distancing. 

  • Social distancing could improve asthma control since people who are self-quarantined are also not as exposed to seasonal triggers that include allergens or respiratory viruses. 

  • There is also evidence that people are being more attentive to taking their asthma medication during the pandemic, which can contribute to overall health.

  • Age-adjusted studies could help us better understand if age is a factor in explaining why asthma patients may not be at greater risk for infection.

  • SARS-CoV-2 infects human cells by interacting with an enzyme (ACE2) attached to the cell membranes in the lungs, arteries, heart, kidney and intestines.

  • This enzyme, which is increased in response to the virus, is also thought to be beneficial in clearing other respiratory viruses.