Managing Respiratory Diseases During COVID Outbreak

Dr Tapaswini Krishna, Consultant – Pulmonology, Gleneagles Global Hospital, Lakdikapul

The world is trembling with the threat of COVID-19. It has affected and killed millions in the last few months. It is caused by the novel coronavirus - the virus of the same family that caused SARS and MERS. COVID-19 is an acute respiratory disease that causes breathlessness, can lead to respiratory failure and even death.

One might anticipate that people with a chronic respiratory disease like asthma, TB, chronic bronchitis, etc would be at higher risk of getting infected by the coronavirus. In reality, the chances of these patients being infected are the same as that of a normal, healthy human being. However, if a person with a chronic respiratory disease is infected with it, the complications will be more severe. Therefore, managing pre-existing respiratory condition becomes extremely important. Here are a few respiratory diseases and tips to manage them in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asthma

For asthma patients, it is important to continue their inhalation therapy and all their medications in order to avoid any type of exacerbation. One cannot afford to get breathless with an attack as it can become difficult to reach the hospital in this lockdown situation. It is extremely essential to keep their asthma in control.

Chronic bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis patients must quit smoking immediately. Smoking and COVID-19 is found to have a direct co-relation. The mortality rate and severity increases in chronic bronchitis patients who smoke if they are infected with the coronavirus.

Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis patients tend to have repeated infections with pseudomonas, community-acquired streptococcus, and influenza. These patients need to make sure that they do not get repeated infections as it can get very difficult to manage. They must also follow all the exercises to clear their lungs and keep them free of sputum.

Tuberculosis

Patients with tuberculosis must continue their medications, and stay in touch with the local RNTCP authorities. If the condition relapses, it will be very difficult to manage it with the threat of coronavirus everywhere. They must also practice all the precautionary measures to prevent the infections because the severity and complications in these patients will be high and difficult to manage.

Patients with all the above mentioned respiratory diseases need to practice all the respiratory hygiene measures mentioned by the authorities. Apart from that, they should supplement their vitamin C levels, do saltwater gargling every time they come back home after being out, and must also do steam inhalation. These basic things will help them in the long run.

Dr Tapaswini Krishna
Consultant – Pulmonology, Gleneagles Global Hospital, Lakdikapul

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.

Tags: Coronavirus   

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