Why You Should So You Can Distinguish Allergy From Coronavirus
Distinguish Allergy From Coronavirus These days, pollen-allergic patients are consulting a lot of specialists about whether their allergy can increase the risk of coronavirus infection. “The data we have at the moment on COVID-19 do not seem to indicate that being allergic carries an increased risk of contracting the infection. In fact, the immune system of an allergic person works like that of a person who is not with respect to its defense function against microorganisms ”, respond from the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (Seaic).
“Symptoms that share pollen allergy and coronavirus are few, because the allergy causes discomfort at the nasal level (itchy nose, sneezing, watery nasal distillation and sometimes nasal congestion), but, in general, it is not associated with discomfort nor with fever. In addition, allergic symptoms are quite intermittent, since they appear at the time of being outdoors and on windier days and disappear after entering the house, “Pedro Ojeda, Head of Communication at Seaic, explains to CuídatePlus. Furthermore, “the symptoms of allergic rhinitis tend to subside fairly quickly after taking topical or oral antihistamines and the presence of fever is nil, unless it is complicated by acute sinusitis.”
In a mild coronavirus infection, the symptoms are more like a cold, with more persistent nasal congestion, thick mucus and a greenish-yellow color. Other associated signs are sore throat, tiredness, dejection, and muscle aches. If the infection progresses and worsens, the feeling of shortness of breath will appear.
“Dry cough is a common symptom in many pathologies. If that cough is due to pollens, it will appear when the patient has been outdoors and will subside when the patient uses his bronchodilator. On the other hand, asthmatic cough, in general, will not be accompanied by fever, muscle pain, etc. However, the coronavirus cough is persistent and does not disappear with medication ”, specifies the member of the Seaic.
Antihistamines -drugs used to alleviate allergy symptoms- do not camouflage the onset of a coronavirus infection, “since what controls these medications is itchy eyes and nose, sneezing and, a little, the eagle nasal. What antihistamines do not control is inflammation of the mucosa. In this regard, patients can be calm, “says Ojeda.
The allergist adds that “what could mask the start of an infection is taking anti-inflammatory drugs.”
The specialist comments that it is foreseeable that, as a result of the weeks in quarantine that the state of alarm forces to control the spread of COVI-19, it is not necessary for allergic patients to use antihistamines during this time because the symptoms they suffer will be minimal or null.
Ojeda raises several scenarios in the case of the allergy vaccine and the isolation situation due to this coronavirus crisis:
1} On the one hand, there is the patient who was receiving an injected vaccine. And within this group, there are two types of guidelines. Some patients have to get the vaccine throughout the year and usually receive one dose once a month. What Seaic recommends in this case is that, if it is not strictly necessary, that dose be spaced two months or as long as necessary. The second type of vaccines injected are those with a seasonal pattern. Generally, the dose is administered once a week for approximately four weeks. For example, those allergic to grass pollens should have started getting the vaccine in March. Since they probably have it already purchased, it is recommended that you contact your allergist or your medical center to go inject it.
2} The sublingual vaccine, which is administered by placing a few drops under the tongue or in the form of lyophilized tablets, can and should be given by the patient himself at home.
For asthma patients, the situation changes. The airways of people with asthma are more susceptible to respiratory infections, especially viral infections. These types of infections usually generate greater bronchial inflammation in the asthmatic person than in the non-asthmatic person, inducing bronchial hyperreactivity and a greater risk of crisis.
It’s The Side Of Extreme So You Can Distinguish Allergy From Coronavirus Rarely Seen, But That’s Why Is Needed
For this reason, allergists recommend that people with asthma take extreme precautions regarding this virus, since any respiratory infection could destabilize the patient’s asthma. “The coronavirus has a special predilection for the lungs and could induce a greater degree of inflammation in the airways, a greater risk of asthma attacks and, possibly, a greater severity of COVID-19 infection,” says Ángel Moral, Chairman of the Seaic Aerobiology Committee.
In this regard, experts urge asthmatic patients to follow a special protocol and to comply correctly and every day with the treatment prescribed by their doctor. “Performing the treatment irregularly or stop taking it because they are well can contribute to the inflammation of the bronchi starting to get out of control, although initially the patient does not realize it. That slight inflammation can motivate the bronchi to be more susceptible to respiratory infections, ”Moral warns.
For this reason, in the current circumstances, the asthmatic patient must be even more disciplined with the general measures of prevention of contagion by coronavirus: frequent hand washing, decrease unnecessary interpersonal relations, avoid contact with people who have symptoms of respiratory infection (however slight) and wear a mask if you need to frequent areas of higher risk such as health centers or emergencies.
Furthermore, “with well-controlled asthma, they should postpone their medical check-up until when it can be done. Asthmatic patients who notice that they start to get a little out of control – those who need to use the rescue inhaler more often (in a week more than two or three days) – have to double the dose of the inhaler they are using and keep it that way for one or two weeks. If they manage to control their disease in this way, they should lower their usual dose. If even so, their asthma continues to deteriorate, they should contact their doctor by telephone so that they can estimate whether the patient has to go to the allergy, pulmonology or primary care consultation to have the treatment readjusted, ”says Ojeda.
Because the emergency services are now saturated by the coronavirus outbreak and are a focus of contagion, it is advisable not to go to these unless the patient suffers a major asthma crisis with clear respiratory distress.
Ojeda points out that in the event that a patient with symptoms of allergic rhinitis contracts the coronavirus, he can combine antipyretic drugs – recommended for fever – with antihistamines – for that rhinitis.
“If an asthmatic patient contracts COVID-19, they must continue their treatment for asthma, since taking inhaled corticosteroids has not been shown to increase the risk of a more serious coronavirus infection. In fact, the opposite is the case, the more controlled the inflammation of the bronchi is in these patients, the better their clinical evolution will be, ”highlights the head of Communication at Seaic.
So far, epidemiological data is showing that COVID-19 slightly affects the child population in terms of infection intensity. “This does not mean that they become less infected. They are infected like adults, but in them the infection passes asymptomatic or with few symptoms in the vast majority of cases. So they are excellent vectors (or vehicles) of the virus, ”says Ojeda.
In the case of allergic children, they have the same risk of being infected as those who are not and do not have a higher risk of suffering a more serious manifestation of coronavirus infection. For this reason, children with allergies should not follow protocols different from those of adults regarding general measures for the prevention of contagion. “From the Seaic we refer to the responsibility of parents, guardians and other close adults, to make children understand the severity of this pandemic and convey that they too are part of the fastest and most effective solution to it, being compliant with what the older ones tell them ”, recalls the allergist.
Ojeda considers it necessary to influence, as in the adult population, “the need to regularly comply with asthma treatments in those children who suffer from it and to consult as soon as possible with their allergist in case of destabilization symptoms”.