Parents are being urged to stay on top of their child’s asthma and make sure their management plan is up to date amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s estimated one in nine Australians suffer from asthma.
As part of World Asthma Day on May 5, health advocates are urging people to ensure they have a management plan and that it is up to date.
NPS MedicineWise, a federal government funded body, is encouraging parents to ensure their child’s management plan has been recently reviewed, especially if their child is using their reliever puffer more than twice a week.
Dr Jill Thistlethwaite, GP and medical adviser at NPS MedicineWise, said it was as important as ever to make sure their child’s plan is up to date.
“Like asthma, COVID-19 affects your breathing. If you get COVID-19, your symptoms may be less severe if your asthma is under control,” she said.
“Your doctor can help you create or update your or your child’s asthma plan.
“This should include which medicines to take, how and when to take them and also what to do in an asthma emergency. It is also really important to check that puffers are being used correctly.
“If asthma is not well controlled, your doctor may make changes to your or your child’s medicines and asthma action plan.”
Dr Ryan Harvey from House Call Doctor, Queensland’s largest medical after hours medical service, said while it appears asthma sufferers are no more likely to contract coronavirus, they must be on top of their symptoms and ensure they have enough supplies.
“Unfortunately, there still remains very little evidence of research into COVID-19 and the effect on people with asthma,” Dr Harvey said.
“This is due to the fact that COVID-19 has only been around a few short months, but early indicators suggest those with asthma are not experiencing any more severe illness then those of the general population.”
He said it is imperative those with the condition continue to follow their asthma plans and be reassured there was no need to stockpile medication.
“There are currently restrictions in place at pharmacies to prevent people from stockpiling to ensure pharmacies do not run out of asthma medication. Pharmacies have plenty of stock of medication, such as Ventolin or salbutamol, for those who have asthma.”
More resources are available here: https://asthma.org.au/