Coronavirus and Allergy

Coronavirus and Allergy:

Several patients have asked me questions regarding how to act during the active phase of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

I think it is convenient to make some basic clarifications and then enter an analysis for diseases:

Basic concepts:

There is no scientific evidence that allergic patients are at increased risk of infection with COVID-19. They must follow the general care expressed by the health authorities, especially hand washing, decrease unnecessary interpersonal relationships, avoid contact with people who have symptoms of respiratory infection (however slight) and wear a mask if they need to frequent areas of higher risk such as health centers or emergencies.

Also remember that there is a large percentage of patients without symptoms (especially children) who can spread the disease. Be extremely careful if you have contact with elderly people or with respiratory problems.

COVID-19:

It is characterized by fever, headache and fatigue, accompanied by dry cough and dryness and, in many cases, dyspnea (shortness of breath) and, less frequently, nausea / vomiting and diarrhea.

Allergic rhinitis:

Allergic rhinitis is characterized by nasal itching, congestion, runny nose, and sneezing that can be accompanied by tearing and itchy eyes.

It will differ from COVID-19 infection by the presence of itching and the absence of fever except in cases of accompanying sinusitis, as well as the worsening in open spaces when it is due to pollens and the rapid improvement with antihistamines in 30-120 minutes.

The presence of symptoms of both COVID-19 and allergic rhinitis may indicate the coexistence of both diseases.

Allergic asthma:

When exposed to a viral infection, including COVID-19, asthmatic people are not only more predisposed to contract the infection, but also the infection can produce a more severe inflammatory reaction than in the general population, thus producing more frequent asthma symptoms and severe than in other patients.

That said, and even though there are no studies with a sufficient number of patients to draw conclusions about it at the time of writing this text, there is a theoretical risk that asthmatic patients will present more severe symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

How can we reduce this risk? The answer is by making our airways behave in the most similar way to the general population. If you have been prescribed inhaled corticosteroids both continuously or in addition to treatment in an asthma attack, you must strictly comply with the treatment and in the prescribed timing and doses during the period of high risk of infection by COVID-19, being able to return to take them in addition to crisis treatment only when that period is over.

Other allergic diseases:

No recommendation has been made in this regard by any of the major allergy societies, and in my opinion I doubt it will. Even without evidence at the present time, it is possible that, like any viral picture, urticaria symptoms may be increased in patients with chronic urticaria.

The American Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology specifically recommends the use of telemedicine to avoid unnecessary contagion

 COVID19_US FINAL.pdf

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