10 tips for people with asthma during COVID-19

With the high prevalance of ashtma in Oakland, here are some tips for residents living with asthma during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Noha Aboelata, MD

There is a high prevalence of asthma in our community, and folks are naturally concerned about their risk as it relates to COVID-19. 

Here’s a brief overview of what we currently know and believe, based on the knowledge base thus far, about asthma and COVID-19:

  1. People with asthma do not have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19.
  2. If you have mild asthma (only need a “rescue” inhaler from time to time and are not on daily medication for asthma), or you have well-controlled moderate asthma, we believe that you are not at greater risk of getting very sick with COVID-19.
  3. If you have poorly controlled moderate asthma or severe asthma and you get COVID-19, it is true that you may be at higher risk of getting very sick from it. It can cause an asthma attack which can be harder to treat and can lead to pneumonia/respiratory distress.
  4. Avoid being exposed and to control your asthma. Take all the precautions you’ve heard. Stay home as much as possible.
  5. Avoid your asthma triggers.
  6. Stock up on your medications. This is not the time to run out of your asthma meds! See about mail order medications or otherwise ensure that you have at least a one-month supply on hand.
  7. If you are on a daily medication for asthma – continue it as prescribed.
  8. Please take extra care with your asthma right now. This is not a good time to be going to the ER unless absolutely necessary!
  9. Do a phone visit with your primary care provider! They can order your refills, go over (or create) your asthma action plan, and answer your questions.
  10. Do what you need to do to stay calm. Panic can be an asthma trigger for some. 

This too shall pass! Stay safe and stay healthy!!


Dr. Noha Aboelata is the CEO of Roots Community Health in East Oakland. The original version of this article appeared on Dr. Aboelata’s Linkedin page.

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