Asthma Society’s advice on #Covid19 to the 3,003 people in Longford living with asthma
The Asthma Society of Ireland is advising people with asthma to be extra vigilant in their asthma management and follow the advice set out by the HSE, amidst growing coronavirus concerns.
Sarah O’Connor, CEO of the Asthma Society, said: “We have been inundated with calls from individuals with asthma and COPD who are extremely worried about how coronavirus will affect them if they get it and what additional precautions they can take to minimise their chances of contracting the virus. Unfortunately, international data indicates if people with asthma and other respiratory conditions contract coronavirus, the health impact can be more severe; they are more likely to experience complications and to need hospital treatment.
Also read: Asthma Society releases measures for respiratory sufferers during #Covid19
"The Asthma Society has been liaising continuously with the HSE over the past number of weeks in relation to this healthcare challenge. We have communicated to the HSE the needs and very acute concerns of respiratory patients. We welcome increased engagement from the HSE with patient organisations in the last 24 hours and updated advice that has been provided for people in vulnerable groups, such as those with a long-term respiratory illness.
"We have urged the HSE to develop specific COVID-19 advice for people with long-term respiratory illnesses, as has already been created for other disease areas, like cancer. People need to know that they are doing everything in their power to manage their illness and protect themselves from coronavirus. They also need reassurance that they will receive the healthcare they need and that employers will recognise their particular vulnerability at this time. Healthcare professionals also need leadership on clinical best practice. This guidance is best provided by the HSE.
"We are extending the hours of our COPD and Asthma Adviceline to meet increased demand – this free service is available on 1800 44 54 64 – and we will do everything we can to continue to inform, support, advise and reassure people with asthma or COPD and their families on our website, social media channels and through our other services. Our website – www.asthma.ie – includes the most up-to-date information available to us on how best to manage respiratory conditions and coronavirus and this will be updated regularly. In the absence of more detailed advice specific to people with long-term respiratory illnesses, the Asthma Society has developed a Frequently Asked Questions section on coronavirus for asthma and COPD patients in particular. This can be found on our website."
At the moment, the most important thing that people with asthma or COPD can do is to ensure that their underlying condition is well managed, which is detailed below and on our website. The HSE has advised people from vulnerable groups, which includes people with a long-term respiratory illness, to ‘self-separate’. The Asthma Society is strongly recommending that patients, their carers and close family and friends closely follow the HSE’s advice on how to avoid spreading the virus.
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