Asthmatics urged to guard themselves against coronavirus
Following the global outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), people living with asthma have been referred to as 'high risk'.
But Dr Lucien Jones told THE STAR that he does not think asthmatics are more prone to getting COVID-19.
"Their immune systems have not been affected. I don't see any information from the World Health Organization that they are more at risk. They are probably more at risk if they have an asthma attack and the COVID in addition. It primarily attacks the elderly primarily because of their depressed immune systems," he said.
Jones adds, however, that asthmatics must do their utmost to safeguard themselves from the virus.
"They just have to try and protect themselves, generally, at all times. Asthma is an allergic condition. COVID is not an allergic problem. COVID is a vile disease. Just like any other vile disease, this can affect the lungs, so asthmatics can't afford to get COVID. All people who have any condition need to stock up on their pumps and their medications," he said.
He advises asthmatics and parents with asthmatic children not to panic during this time.
'Follow medical advice'
"My advice to them is the same as everybody: just do what you've been told in terms of handwashing and keeping social distance. The COVID virus comes with several things - you will feel unwell, you'll get a temperature, and there have been reports in recent times about patients developing symptoms like diarrhoea, and so forth. So you watch out for those things," he said.
Doctors in the United States have warned that asthma sufferers should self-isolate for 12 weeks to avoid the virus. Locally, Dr Elon Thompson, president of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association, told THE STAR that it is necessary that persons who have asthma seek to manage their conditions.
"I do know that if there's an asthmatic who is symptomatic now, then they need treatment. They should not quarantine themselves to the detriment of themselves. Persons who have been asthmatic for a long time would know how to manage their symptoms at home. They know after what time period, if it's getting worse, to go to the hospital," he said.