Fewer Severe Asthma Attacks In Kids During COVID
Researchers looked at the impact of other viruses, including influenza A and B, but found these viruses were declining on March 17. .
While overall, patients experienced fewer significant asthma symptoms, this is not the case for two specific demographic groups. Black patients had a 70% increase in steroid prescriptions during this time and a higher percentage of care than before. The study authors said this should be at the center of future studies and efforts to improve the quality of patient care. Medicaid patients saw a 63% increase in steroid prescriptions.
Asthma is a chronic disease that causes the airways to narrow, causing chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath. It affects 1 in 12 children.
Dr Shyam Joshi is an assistant professor of medicine in the section of allergy and clinical immunology at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. He said in his area they were receiving much less urgent care or very symptomatic pediatric patients.
In addition to other measures, closing the spring schools likely played a big role in reducing exposure to rhinovirus and, therefore, asthma symptoms, Joshi said.
“We know that in very young patients with acute episodes of wheezing or coughing, shortness of breath, about 80% of those times are associated with an underlying viral infection,” Joshi said. “Avoiding rhinoviruses will clearly improve these acute episodes of wheezing and difficulty breathing.”
In Baltimore, Dr Corinne Keet, associate professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said she is also seeing patients with fewer asthma exacerbations this spring and they themselves are reporting improvement. symptoms of asthma.
Although viruses can be the most immediate trigger, allergic inflammation plays a key role in asthma symptoms. When treating this first, patients don’t experience as many significant asthma symptoms, Keet said.
It’s too early to tell what the next flu season will look like, Keet said, but regular hand washing and wearing a mask can help.
“It’s not just COVID that’s reduced when we do all of these things. All respiratory viruses share these common transmission routes,” Keet said. “Washing your hands, covering your face, being away from others reduces all of that.”
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