How high is the risk of severe COVID-19? Asthma alone, no matter the severity, does not increase the risk. This finding has been shared by specialists in respiratory medicine in Germany – the German Respiratory Society (DGP) and Bundesverband der Pneumologen, Schlaf- und Beatmungsmediziner e. V. (German Federal Association of Pneumologists, Sleep and Respiratory Medicine – BdP).
However, if high-dose cortisone spray or cortisone injections are used, it may make sense to switch to other medicines. “There is evidence that high-dose inhaled steroids as well as systemic steroid therapy increase the risk of severe illness”, says Marek Lommatzsch of Rostock University Medical Center. Instead, biologics such as omalizumab, reslizumab or dupliumab may be the better choice. This should be discussed with the treating physician.
Low or medium-high-dose cortisone spray – which is what most asthma patients take – is safe.
Overall, an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus leads to severe illness in less than five per cent of patients.
Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany DGP: Pneumologen legen aktualisierte Stellungnahme zur Risikoabschätzung vor (DGP: Pneumologists present updated opinion on risk assessment). AWMF press release from 26 November 2020. (In German)
German Respiratory Society (DPG) – position paper (in German)