COPD Day: Take care of lungs and quit smoking to ease Covid severity, say doctors

Earlier, in the Covid Death Audit Report which analysed deaths reported in August, it was highlighted that, of the 223 Covid deaths, 23 had COPD.  
COPD Day: Take care of lungs and quit smoking to ease Covid severity, say doctors

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: There is emerging evidence on the short-term and long-term effects of Covid-19 on human body, especially on the lungs. If the infected persons have any underlying chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), then chances are high that they might get severe illness of Covid-19.

On the occasion of World COPD Day, which falls on Wednesday, pulmonologists are stressing the need for lung care and the need to quit smoking so as to prevent COPD and the complications it might lead to if one gets infected by Covid-19.

“It is now a proven fact that people of any age with certain underlying conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from Covid-19. One such risk is COPD, which is a common airway disease that affects individuals over 45 years of age. It results in airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. As Covid-19 affects the respiratory system most, the presence of COPD will only aggravate the condition leading to even death,” said Dr P S Shajahan of Pulmonary Medicine Department, Government TD Medical College, Alappuzha.

According to him, studies on COPD and Covid-19 have come out with the finding that when compared with non-COPD patients, significantly higher rates of hospitalisation, ICU admissions and invasive mechanical ventilation were observed in COPD patients infected with the virus.

“COPD increases the risk of severe Covid-19. If a COPD patient is an active smoker, then the risk is very high. The way forward is to quit smoking which not only increases the risk of infection by SARS-CoV-2 but also its severity,” added Shajahan. 

Earlier, in the Covid Death Audit Report which analysed deaths reported in August, it was highlighted that, of the 223 Covid deaths, 23 had COPD.  At the same time, the health minister’s office said those with respiratory illnesses including COPD should seek immediate care at Swas clinics set up at family health centres and taluk/district/general hospitals.

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