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27 October 2020
During the first outbreak of COVID-19, Asthma Australia sought to answer the question that was worrying many people with asthma and their families: ‘Am I more at risk of acquiring COVID-19? Should I self-isolate? And if I get it, will I die?’.
Through its National Research Fund, Asthma Australia was able to commission a study on the impact of COVID-19 on asthma, which was completed by the George Institute for Global Health.
The global study involved reviewing 58 high-quality research publications from across the world, capturing the data of half a million people who had contracted COVID-19 from Asia, Europe and the Americas to discover if people with asthma are more at risk of acquiring COVID-19 or of poorer outcomes.
The findings from this study suggest that people with asthma don’t appear to be at greater risk of acquiring COVID-19 than the rest of the population.
Most people with asthma are not contracting COVID-19 and if they do, they are equally likely to recover.
In fact, the stats show that people with asthma are 14% less at risk of contracting COVID than the general population, 14% less at risk of going to hospital and have a 13% less risk of dying.
However, when hospitalised they have a higher risk of being admitted to the ICU or receiving mechanical ventilation.
The study found that people with asthma should take all the precautions of hand hygiene, social and physical distancing to prevent transmission of infection as advised by public health officials and health authorities as given to the general community.
They should additionally be conscientious about looking after their asthma and maintaining their preventative medications according to their doctor's advice.
Inhaled and oral corticosteroids given for asthma do not carry any increased risk of acquiring COVID-19 or having a more severe outcome from it and may indeed be therapeutic against the virus.
to read the full report.