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Update: I now have symptoms. COVID-19 and asthma--questions

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What's the latest guidance for asthma patients? Any change from what has been posted? Things change so fast with this virus... just wanted to check in since I started showing symptoms today. I have fever--99.9, cramping/loose stool, sore throat, dry cough, but no chest tightness. I have no idea what the chances are that this is COVID. I have been SO careful with cleaning, handwashing, etc. 😞 It's just weird because I rarely get sick enough to run a fever. To catch something while being THIS careful is just crazy. 

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On 3/25/2020 at 7:38 AM, Pippen said:

Some areas of the country are experiencing a shortage of Albuterol inhalers now, due to treating COVID-19 patients. 

A message to asthma sufferers about a shortage of albuterol metered dose inhalers From the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

https://acaai.org/news/message-asthma-sufferers-about-shortage-albuterol-metered-dose-inhalers

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill (March 20, 2020) - Certain areas of the country are experiencing shortages of albuterol inhalers. The shortage will probably spread throughout the U.S., although it is not a production problem. The shortage is occurring because of the increased use of albuterol inhalers in hospitals for COVID-19 and suspected COVID-19 patients to help with respiratory issues.  There is a concern that nebulizers used on patients with COVID-19 in the hospital could spread the virus in the air. But the possible risk is to hospitalized patients with COVID-19 – not to patients using their nebulizer at home as directed.

It is important if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspect you may have COVID-19 and are using a nebulizer at home, that you know the virus may persist in droplets in the air for 1-2 hours. Therefore, you should administer nebulized albuterol in a location that minimizes exposure to members of your household who aren’t infected. Choose a location for your treatment where air is not recirculated into the home – places like a porch or patio, or in a garage – areas where surfaces can be cleaned more easily or may not need cleaning.

What should you do if you or your child are having trouble getting an albuterol inhaler? The recommendations below from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) offer practical ideas for coping:

First, don’t panic. Check your inhaler to make sure it still has medicine.
1. If necessary, you can likely use your expired albuterol inhaler as it is probably still at least partially effective.
2. If you can’t get a refill on your metered dose inhaler, contact your allergist or health care provider as there are other options available which they can prescribe.
3. It is important that you not overuse your albuterol inhaler, as one canister should last for months.
4. ACAAI will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

Updated March 23, 2020

 

I missed this somehow. Reading now.

 

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Do you have a nebulizer? I would start using it to prevent an escalation because it's so much better than inhalers. You need to find a good place to use it, however, that you can be sure that nobody will go into for about 3-4 hours. I'd probably check in with my doctor asap if I had symptoms. You may get priority for testing or be told to go to the hospital sooner. 

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7 minutes ago, Paige said:

Do you have a nebulizer? I would start using it to prevent an escalation because it's so much better than inhalers. You need to find a good place to use it, however, that you can be sure that nobody will go into for about 3-4 hours. I'd probably check in with my doctor asap if I had symptoms. You may get priority for testing or be told to go to the hospital sooner. 

I've never had a nebulizer. I have a rescue inhaler and Pulmicort. I will probably start the Pulmicort tonight. I'm not very sick at all. I thought my upper respiratory stuff was maybe due to pollen. Except I don't normally get seasonal allergy symptoms, so... I only took my temp because after my upset stomach, my appetite has decreased. I tried to eat dinner and had a wave of nausea just as I was finishing up. That's when I decided to take my temp.  I will call in tomorrow and see if I need a test.

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4 minutes ago, Paige said:

Do you have a nebulizer? I would start using it to prevent an escalation because it's so much better than inhalers. You need to find a good place to use it, however, that you can be sure that nobody will go into for about 3-4 hours. I'd probably check in with my doctor asap if I had symptoms. You may get priority for testing or be told to go to the hospital sooner. 

I agree to contact your doctor, or if not available, do a virtual visit. 

I'd also probably isolate from the rest of the family to be on the safe side.

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3 minutes ago, Pippen said:

I agree to contact your doctor, or if not available, do a virtual visit. 

I'd also probably isolate from the rest of the family to be on the safe side.

Already done. 🙂 I had already prepared the basement for quarantine just in case. My husband has been down here quarantined because he had contact with my daughter who (most likely) had Covid last week. He saw her way before she started showing symptoms, but he quarantined anyway. So today we had to switch. That daughter lives 2 hours away--so not in my home.

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Well, my temperature is normal again. I used both an old mercury thermometer and an Exergen Temporal Scanner. I'm staying isolated, but hopefully it was a false alarm.

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Hopefully false alarm.  Keep records of symptoms.  Call your doctor or county health department ASAP. You could call now to hear recording to

learn when they will be open.

 

In our area your symptoms would not qualify for testing— but maybe in your area along with asthma and contact with a known CV19 case they would

if you have an oximeter check your Oxygen saturation  - if it falls lower than normal for you call Emergency room to ask for guidance 

keep track of your temperature — in our area guidance is still 38 deg C / 100.4 deg F  to count as “fever “ for CV19 purposes

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1 hour ago, popmom said:

Well, my temperature is normal again. I used both an old mercury thermometer and an Exergen Temporal Scanner. I'm staying isolated, but hopefully it was a false alarm.

I would still be taking my pulmicort, just to be getting my lung/airway inflammation down in case you do become ill. 

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30 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I would still be taking my pulmicort, just to be getting my lung/airway inflammation down in case you do become ill. 


I agree.  Even if this isn’t COVID if your lungs flare from whatever it is you will have a harder time if you get COVID down the road.  Hopefully you won’t of course but just in case.  We are treating my kid with mild seasonal allergic asthma more than usual for that reason.

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On 3/25/2020 at 5:38 AM, Pippen said:

Some areas of the country are experiencing a shortage of Albuterol inhalers now, due to treating COVID-19 patients. 

A message to asthma sufferers about a shortage of albuterol metered dose inhalers From the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

https://acaai.org/news/message-asthma-sufferers-about-shortage-albuterol-metered-dose-inhalers

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill (March 20, 2020) - Certain areas of the country are experiencing shortages of albuterol inhalers. The shortage will probably spread throughout the U.S., although it is not a production problem. The shortage is occurring because of the increased use of albuterol inhalers in hospitals for COVID-19 and suspected COVID-19 patients to help with respiratory issues.  There is a concern that nebulizers used on patients with COVID-19 in the hospital could spread the virus in the air. But the possible risk is to hospitalized patients with COVID-19 – not to patients using their nebulizer at home as directed.

@Ausmumof3 did you manage to get the ventolin inhaler for your child?

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On 3/28/2020 at 8:38 PM, popmom said:

What's the latest guidance for asthma patients? Any change from what has been posted? Things change so fast with this virus... just wanted to check in since I started showing symptoms today. I have fever--99.9, cramping/loose stool, sore throat, dry cough, but no chest tightness. I have no idea what the chances are that this is COVID. I have been SO careful with cleaning, handwashing, etc. 😞 It's just weird because I rarely get sick enough to run a fever. To catch something while being THIS careful is just crazy. 

 

As far as the likelihood of having it goes, I think I read that something like 96% of people when tested are negative for COVID.  Some of these people of course don't have symptoms, have just been exposed, but on the whole it's not like if you have these symptoms you definitely have the novel coronavirus - there are many other things that cause these same symptoms during cold and flu season, namely colds and the flu.

They say to worry about fever only above 100.4 but I feel like that really varies person to person.

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