UPDATED: 4.30PM WEDNESDAY 3RD MARCH 2020
Asthma WA recommends that people with asthma take precautions when any type of respiratory illness is present in their community. People with asthma are no more likely to contract the Coronavirus (COVID-19) than anyone else in the community however the severity of their reaction to the virus may vary depending on their vulnerability. Some people may find that colds and viruses are a trigger for their asthma whilst others may be unaffected.
We recommend following advice from the Department of Health and World Health Organisation regarding the Coronavirus. Asthma WA encourages people with respiratory conditions to take note of our already established recommendations on how to manage your asthma through the cold and flu season. This is an evolving situation which we at Asthma WA will continue to monitor and publish updates on. If you have any questions related to asthma and the Coronavirus, call us on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) and speak to a Respiratory Health Educator.
For now, it is important to make sure your asthma is well-controlled by having regular reviews with your GP, taking your preventer medication as prescribed and having an Asthma Action Plan in place. In the lead up to any cold and flu season, make an appointment with your GP to review your asthma and make sure your prescriptions are up to date. This is also a great time to speak to your GP about when you should receive your annual flu vaccination. Be sure to also check you have other asthma equipment such as a spacer if required.
Asthma WA provides free education sessions for people wanting to better understand their asthma, learn how to take their medication properly and have a clear understanding of their asthma symptoms. Call 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) to book your FREE appointment. Even if you consider your asthma to be mild or you would just like to refresh your knowledge of your asthma and management, this session will be of great benefit and help get you on track ahead of the cold and flu season.
What to do now
- Wash your hands regularly with soap or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Stay away from people who you know to be sick.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth.
- At home, check your asthma medications are in date and have not expired as well as other asthma equipment such as your spacer.
- Make an appointment to see your GP to review your asthma. Do not wait until you have cold and flu symptoms.
- Familiarise yourself with your Asthma Action Plan or update it in consultation with your GP, if necessary.
- If you would like more information on how to respond to an asthma emergency, call Asthma WA on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462), or read more here.
- If you are feeling unwell and suspect you may have contracted the Coronavirus, before attending any appointments call ahead to talk through your symptoms and find out what you need to do. Please do not expose others to your condition.
WA Dept of Health has established three clinics to support testing for COVID-19 for those who are concerned. The clinics are at Royal Perth, Sir Charles Gairdner and Fiona Stanley and are open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days per week. These clinics will test people who meet specific criteria which include:
- Experiencing flu-like symptoms
- Have travelled overseas recently, or been in contact with someone who has recently travelled overseas
- Have been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case or suspected case of Coronavirus.
The department may establish further testing clinics in other areas should demand require it.
- Health Direct
- Healthy WA (WA Department of Health)
- Department of Health (Federal)
- Managing your asthma, Asthma WA
Ensure you source information from trusted sites, such as the WA Health Department, rather than social media.