Are people with lung disease more likely to catch or die from the Corona virus?

The cases of people infected with the new coronavirus – COVID-19 – have reached nearly 10 million cases since the disease began spreading late last year, surpassing many of the epidemics that the world has been exposed to before. The rapid nature of the transmission and the unknown elements of the breed also led to many questions with few answers.

Coronaviruses are not new and to which the Corona virus belongs. In fact, millions of people fight this infection every year with little to no results. The term refers to a large group of viruses common to many different types of animals, including camels, cows, cats and bats, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but they have the potential to infect humans.

Laren Tan, MD, founder and director of Loma Linda’s Comprehensive Health Program for Obstructive Airway Diseases, says it is important for people with respiratory illnesses to be especially vigilant. “There is greater concern about both infection and morbidity in those with lung disease s, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma.”

Tan sat for an interview to discuss the global epidemic and what it means for people with chronic lung disease :

We know that COVID-19 and other chronic respiratory infections can be dangerous, but how dangerous is it for people with lung disease ?

It’s hard to put a number on this, but those who are seriously ill are more likely to have worsening breathlessness, swelling in and around their lungs, and life-threatening infections.

Is the risk only greater for those with COVID-19?

And those with any chronic respiratory condition who contract the generic or new coronavirus also become more susceptible to infection or other additional bacteria, which increases the chances of severe illness or death. Simply put, when you get one, your chances of getting another go up.

What aspect of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma makes people more susceptible to these viral diseases?

Patients suffering from chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can sometimes suffer from what we call an imbalance of the epithelial lining – or damage to the cellular barrier that helps protect the lungs – making it easier for viruses and diseases to invade the rest, making it more vulnerable to infection. .

COVID-19 had already spread farther than SARS in 2003, and it showed few signs of stopping – how can people with lung disease protect themselves?

The biggest thing a person can do to protect themselves is to take preventive measures to avoid contracting the disease in the first place. This may mean moving away from active patients, wearing a mask and gloves when in a healthcare environment such as clinics or hospitals, and continuing to take their prescription respiratory medications to improve lung health.

How are these viruses passed?

Viruses are dynamic in the way they infect humans, animals, and even plants. The risk of transmitting any virus is higher when people are sick because they often pass through respiratory droplets – coughing, sneezing, or runny nose – to another person.

What should a person with lung disease do if they have symptoms?

Those who have not traveled recently and who are not in high-risk areas have few risks, but those who have traveled and are showing symptoms of infection with the Coronavirus should contact their primary care or urgent care physician to determine the best next steps.

People infected with the new coronavirus, common coronavirus, flu, or cold are likely to develop respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, and runny nose.

How do you determine if someone has coronavirus or another virus?

It can be difficult to differentiate respiratory viruses based on symptoms alone, as many of them have similar – if not identical – symptoms. That’s why we stress the importance of telling your health care provider about things they cannot see, such as where you have traveled, what you have eaten or have recently spent time with. If you develop similar symptoms, and have recently traveled to China, or another area with severe infection, contact your primary care physician, who can treat you or refer you to see a doctor at the Advanced Lung Disease Center.