How does a respiratory virus like COVID-19 affect COPD?

MEDICALNEWSTODAY.COM - The SARS-CoV-2 virus causes the illness COVID-19, which may lead to mild to severe respiratory problems. These symptoms may mean people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have a higher risk of more severe illness from COVID-19 due to their existing lung problems.


During the COVID-19 outbreak, a person with COPD should stay at home except for essential medical care.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, a person with COPD should stay at home except for essential medical care.

According to a 2020 report of 140 people with COVID-19, having COPD does not make people any more likely to contract the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

However, if a person with COPD contracts the virus, they may be more likely to experience breathlessness. This means that hospitalization may also be more likely.

Despite this, according to one expert from the European Lung Foundation, most people with COPD may experience no symptoms or mild symptoms and make a complete recovery.

People with severe COPD may have a higher risk of COVID-19 complications as COVID-19 affects the respiratory system. Existing lung damage means it is more difficult for the lungs to fight off an infection.

According to a meta-analysis of seven studies, the researchers concluded that those with COPD may have a significantly increased risk of developing severe COVID-19 infections.

A 2020 case series from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention documented the coronavirus outbreak in China.

The overall case fatality rate (CFR) was 2.3%, which means there were 1,023 deaths in 44,672 confirmed cases of COVID-19. In people with chronic respiratory disease, the CFR was 6.3%.

A person with COPD should not stop taking their treatments, including corticosteroids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

People with COPD should continue their treatment for COPD as usual during the COVID-19 outbreak. They should keep at least a 30-day supply of any prescription medication and preferably a 90-day supply.

People can check with their oxygen provider to ensure that their routine oxygen supply will continue as usual.

An individual can also take the following precautions:

Stay at home except for essential medical care.

If absolutely necessary to go out, stay 6 feet away from others.

Wash hands regularly, and particularly after being in a public place, with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.

Make sure to have enough food and everyday supplies in the house.

Where possible, get items delivered or ask others to drop items off to avoid excess travel.

Avoid contact with others wherever possible.

If people live with others who are leaving and entering the home, make sure they frequently wash their hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap.

If people require external home help or healthcare visits, ensure these individuals are taking all necessary hygiene precautions.

Clean and disinfect surfaces that people touch frequently, such as door handles, countertops, and bathroom surfaces.

Avoid touching the face with unwashed hands.

Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow, then discard tissues straightaway.

Quitting smoking can help to strengthen the respiratory system against COVID-19.

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