Asthma is not considered as a common secondary health condition among coronavirus patients, irrespective of age as per recent data released by the New York Department of Health. It is noteworthy that the report was released by the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the world. This was when New York listed the most common secondary health conditions in COVID-19 patients, according to the report.
The most common health conditions were hypertension and diabetes, while the list had coronary artery disease, cancer, stroke and dementia. The high-risk factor in severe cases of coronavirus was found to be obesity.
People with asthma in the state accounted for only five percent of COVID-19 related deaths, according to The New York Times. An observational study in the New England Journal of Medicine states that among 24 critical patients in Seattle, merely three people had asthma, while in a comment published by The Lancet, researchers note that there was a low reported prevalence of asthma and COPD among coronavirus patients.
They reason out that it might be due to under-diagnosis/poor recognition of chronic respiratory problems, taking China's particularity. The comment cites data from Italy that in 355 COVID-19 deaths, diabetes got reported in more than 20 percent of patients, COPD, however, wasn't listed as a comorbidity for anyone.
A curious second possibility was written, that those with chronic respiratory diseases had protection against COVID-19, maybe by a "different immune response elicited by the chronic disease itself."
What authorities say?
However, the WHO warned in a myth buster that those having asthma might be at higher risk of getting very sick from the novel coronavirus, because such respiratory illness could cause asthma attacks, leading to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease.
While CDC recommends that those with asthma shall continue to take their existing medications while stocking up on "emergency" supplies of inhalers. Data seem to show that asthma may not be one among the greatest risks; doctors say that those with the respiratory condition better take more precautions in avoiding contracting coronavirus.
Take data with a grain of salt
Dr Purvi Parikh, an allergist at Allergy and Asthma Network, cautions people not to develop a "false sense of security," reported People. She said that he would take this data with a grain of salt as it was studied only in few weeks rather than months or years, while she cautioned asthmatics to be vigilant.
Speaking on the data Parikh says that stay at home order could be a reason that may have kept asthmatics away from a trigger and also exposure to coronavirus. She cited data that daily about ten people died in the US caused by asthma normally.