CORONAVIRUS is causing concern among people everywhere.

Whether its people stocking up on supplies, restricting the amount they socialise or washing their hands more, most of us are taking extra steps to stay safe.

But what if you have a respiratory condition such as asthma? 

Well, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that while people of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus, older people and people with pre-existing conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease, appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.


Those of us who are asthmatic therefore can improve their respiratory condition by following some simple steps.

What should I be doing if I have asthma?

Well make sure you're following the advised steps to start off with, for example, good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.

Next, take your preventer, daily as prescribed. This is essential.

Also, make sure you have your reliever inhaler to hand, so you can use it to relieve any symptoms that occur.

Why are people with asthma affected?

Jessica Kirby, Head of Health Advice at Asthma UK, said: “Coronavirus can cause respiratory problems for anyone, but for the 5.4million people in the UK with asthma, the risk is greater. Respiratory viruses like this can trigger asthma symptoms and could lead to an asthma attack."

What if I feel my asthma symptoms getting worse?

Asthma UK are advising that if your asthma symptoms get worse, and you haven’t travelled to an at-risk area or been in contact with someone who has, make an appointment to see your GP as soon as you can. If you think you might have coronavirus, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

Anyone having an asthma attack should follow the steps on their asthma action plan and call 999 for an ambulance if needed.

Should I just self-isolate?

As the virus is predicted to spread further in the UK, the next step in slowing down the spread would be people taking steps to reduce their contact with others, for example by avoiding handshaking, or avoiding large gatherings of people.

Asthma UK say it would be a good idea for people with long-term lung conditions to start thinking about how they would manage in this situation.

Examples might include discussing arrangements to working from home with your employer.

While at the moment, this is not the guidance for people with lung conditions, it is wise to prepare for what may happen next.

Where can I check changing advice?


General health advice to reduce risk of coronavirus

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • Use tissues to catch a sneeze and then put them in the bin straight away
  • Try to avoid close contact with people with symptoms like coughing and sneezing
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren’t clean