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Free Content Considerations for asthma management and viral transmission in the era of COVID-19

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Background:

As the global COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, there has been much debate surrounding the optimal management of patients with asthma who are at risk of or contract COVID-19, whether asthma and steroids are risk factors for severe COVID-19, and how transmissible the virus is among children.

Objective:

The objective of this study is to provide allergists and other clinicians with pearls pertaining to the management of patients with asthma in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide some information regarding the risk of transmission among the pediatric population.

Methods:

Utilizing the case of one of our own patients with asthma who developed COVID-19 as context, we review the recent literature discussing the risk of COVID-19 in patients with asthma, the management of asthma medications in the time of the pandemic, and the risk of viral transmission.

Results:

Despite initial reports that asthma was a risk factor for developing severe COVID-19, subsequent investigation has shown that this is likely not true. Additionally, the use of systemic or inhaled glucocorticoids does not appear to increase the risk of severe COVID-19, but there is no evidence guiding the use of biologic therapy. There is conflicting evidence regarding the ability of children to transmit the virus.

Conclusion:

We provide pearls that asthma does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 and continued use of inhaled corticosteroids appears to be safe. While there is no evidence guiding the use of biologic therapies, a recent position paper suggests that they should be continued unless a patient contracts COVID-19, at which point they should be held until clinical recovery occurs.

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Keywords: ACE2; Asthma; COVID-19; SARS‐CoV-2; angiotensin converting enzyme-2; biologics; coronavirus; corticosteroids

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Division of Allergic Disease, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota; and

Publication date: January 1, 2021

This article was made available online on December 23, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Considerations for asthma management and viral transmission in the era of COVID-19".

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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