Asthma does not increase your risk of catching coronavirus, or influence the severity of the disease, scientists have claimed.

While people with asthma were originally thought to be at higher risk for COVID-19, researchers from Rutgers University claim that this isn’t the case.

Dr Reynold Panettieri Jr, c-author of the study, said: “Older age and conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and obesity are reported risk factors for the development and progression of COVID-19.

“However, people with asthma – even those with diminished lung function who are being treated to manage asthmatic inflammation – seem to be no worse affected by SARS-CoV-2 than a non-asthmatic person.”

“There is limited data as to why this is the case – if it is physiological or a result of the treatment to manage the inflammation.”

Asthmatics, like everyone else, should try to avoid getting the disease
Asthmatics, like everyone else, should try to avoid getting the disease (Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)

The researchers suggest that since the coronavirus outbreak hit the UK earlier this year, those with asthma may have become hyper-vigilant about their personal hygiene and social distancing.

They explained: “Social distancing could improve asthma control since people who are self-quarantined are also not as exposed to seasonal triggers that include allergens or respiratory viruses.

“There is also evidence that people are being more attentive to taking their asthma medication during the pandemic, which can contribute to overall health.”

The researchers added that other conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and obesity are likely to put you at higher risk for severe coronavirus.

They said: “If SARS-CoV-2 is a disease that causes dysfunction in the cells that line blood vessels throughout the body, then diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other diseases associated with this condition may make people more susceptible to the virus than those who are asthmatic.

“However, older people with asthma who also have high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease may have similar instances of COVID-19 as non-asthmatics with those conditions.”