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World Asthma Day
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World Asthma Day

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Highlights :
  • World Asthma Day is observed every year on the first Tuesday of May
  • The day aims to create awareness about asthma around the world
  • Asthma cases have come down during the coronavirus lockdown

World Asthma Day, observed on the first Tuesday of May aims to educate the general public and create awareness about asthma. This day also helps to support asthma patients and their families to cope well with the condition.

COVID-19 and Asthma

Fear has gripped the hearts of people because of the deadly pandemic, especially those with asthma. They are anxious, if their situation could get worse or if they would be easily affected by the SARS-CoV-2.

How has coronavirus affected asthma patients? Is there a link between COVID-19 and asthma?

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Asthma sufferers might be vulnerable to COVID-19, but there is no evidence that infection rates have increased among asthma patients. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that people with moderate-severe asthma might be at a higher risk for more severe disease (there is no confirmed evidence).

One good news to all asthma patients out there is that air pollution rates have drastically reduced, so they can be at ease and breathe a bit of clean air for a while.
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"Just one month into COVID-19 we were already at 75% lower air pollution levels globally than any other time post World War II, which has meant asthma sufferers can breathe more easily and proves that it is possible to ensure our atmosphere does not exceed 1.5 degrees centigrade of global warming by 2050," said Vanya Veras, a Malta-based expert in environmental affairs, waste management and green infrastructure.

"This is backed by new research by climate experts who have studied the effect resulting from having a good part of the world in lockdown or self-isolation, meaning that millions of people are at home and not traveling," continues Veras. "This has led to much less traffic on the roads, fewer flights, and less activity overall, thus flattening the coronavirus infection curve and causing emissions to plummet."

Asthma: Facts and Statistics

How to Create Awareness about Asthma?

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world after a common cold. Asthma attacks are treated with bronchodilators (inhalers) and steroids. However, standard treatments are not beneficial for acute severe asthma patients and could eventually cause death.

First World Asthma Day was held in 1998 in more than 35 countries. Each year a new theme is chosen and various activities are organized across the world. Activities like:

  • Free asthma screening
  • Advertising through media (Radio, TV, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Organizing conferences, seminars, workshops
  • Setting up a free asthma telephone helpline
  • Educating children, teens and parents
  • Fundraising events such as walks and runs can be organized

Conclusion

On this World Asthma Day, let us come together to aid support for asthma suffers. Veras also said: "We need to continue to be responsible and to practice social distancing and proper care for asthma sufferers as we sit out the pandemic. If our leaders take this incredible opportunity, then we can look to a brighter, less polluted world - a world that may not even need World Asthma Days in the future!"

References :
  1. World Asthma Day 2020 on May 5: Objective, History, Significance, And Theme - (https://www.india.com/lifestyle/world-asthma-day-2020-on-may-5-objective-history-significance-and-theme-4018833/)
  2. COVID-19 And Asthma: What Patients Need to Know - (https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/asthma-library/covid-asthma)
  3. Drop in air pollution in time for 2020 World Asthma Day - (https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2020-05-02/local-news/Drop-in-air-pollution-in-time-for-2020-World-Asthma-Day-6736222680)
  4. Hospitalization Rates and Characteristics of Patients Hospitalized with Laboratory-Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 — COVID-NET, 14 States, March 1-30, 2020 - (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6915e3.htm?s_cid=mm6915e3_w)
  5. The Global Asthma Report 2018 - (http://www.globalasthmareport.org/management/india.php)


Source: Medindia

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