COPD Foundation Resources on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Posted on April 06, 2020   |   
Author: Gretchen   |   
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The COPD Foundation continues to monitor the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As time progresses, our medical and scientific experts learn more how the disease behaves, and they continue to provide important information and recommendations to our community.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new disease caused by a novel coronavirus that is different than the common cold, flu, or pneumonia. COVID-19 is spread from one person to another through respiratory droplets that are spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs from less than 6 feet away. One can also be infected from touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose and/or mouth.

Symptoms of COVID-19

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases. Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.

The CDC recommendations on when to seek medical advice are: if you develop symptoms and you have been in close contact with a person known to test positive for COVID-19 OR If you live in or have recently been in an area with an ongoing spread of COVID-19. The CDC is actively monitoring COVID-19 and will update guidance as new information becomes available. For more information and guidelines from the CDC visit www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

Who is at risk?

Because this is a new virus, no one has any built-in immunity which makes everyone at risk of contracting COVID-19. Older adults, especially those with underlying medical problems including heart and lung disease and diabetes, are at a much higher risk of severe complications. Younger and generally healthy people can and have contracted the virus. While they are less likely to develop severe problems, severe problems have been seen in younger people. Everyone needs to take appropriate precautions.

Additional Resources for our Community

Knowing that our community members are at higher risk, the COPD Foundation team and colleagues have been working around the clock to provide our community members the support and resources to continue to stay informed and safe as we live through this historic event. The global situation changes daily, and we want you to stay well informed. That is why the COPD Foundation’s website has now added a dedicated COVID-19 page that is being updated regularly as new research is published and more guidance is released. We encourage you to visit the site regularly for new updates and recommendations.

Another way that we are keeping you informed is through our live and recorded webinars.

Did you know that the virus can stay on copper surfaces up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours, on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces up to 2-3 days? Just because you suspect the virus may be present when coming across any of these surfaces, does not necessarily mean it will be contagious. Your best practice should still be to wash your hands after touching anything outside of your home or when handling your home delivered packages. You can learn more information on this topic as well as other questions and answers from our medical experts by viewing to the recorded webinar titled, COVID-19 Q&A with the experts, which can be found on the page linked above.

The importance of practicing ‘social distancing’ is another critical way to reduce contact with others to avoid getting sick or to slow the overall spread of the disease. Below are some important recommendations form our experts:

  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • If you can’t work from home, take a leave of absence if feasible or you
  • Ask your pharmacy if they will deliver
  • Utilize grocery delivery services for food and household products
  • Minimize contact with those in your household who are working in high-risk fields
  • If you have to leave your home, wash your hands often and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer

It is important not to confuse ‘social distancing’ with ‘emotional distancing’. Reach out to friends and family by phone or video calls. If you are home trying to think of things to do, there is a big chance that your friends and family members are doing the same. Below are other ways we can cope with feeling alone and stressed during this time.

  • Maintaining a routine (i.e. get up ready in the morning, drink your coffee)
  • Keep moving (i.e. walk around in your home, exercise indoors)
  • Enjoy hobbies (i.e. playing games, reading)
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Eat right
  • Drink water (as appropriate for you)
  • Explore new things. Virtually. (i.e. online classes, online museums)
  • Meditation/mindfulness exercises
  • Find something to smile or laugh about
  • Take a break from the news

These and more tips and recommendations can be found on the recorded webinar titled COVID-19 COPD and You: Important Strategies from Leading Medical Experts on Managing Your Health, which can also be found on the dedicated COVID-19 page.

A Summary of questions and answers asked during the March 17, 2020 webinar the COPD Foundation hosted, COVID-19, COPD and You: Important Strategies from Leading Medical Experts on Managing Your Health can also be found here.

COPD360social is another interactive platform for our community that is actively being updated with new information on COVID-19, covering a range of important topics including the ones listed below. This information can be found on the dedicated blog post being updated regularly, which can be found here.

  • Should you use a nebulizer if you contract COVID-19? Why could it increase infection?
  • Policy issues and what COPDF is doing
  • Ideas to keep entertained and active
  • Live event announcements
  • Social Distancing
  • And more...

The BronchandNTM360social community and COPD360social community are the Foundation’s priority and we believe that keeping you informed with best practices, recommendation and resources in real time will help us get through this together!

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