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Having asthma implies a higher risk of contracting the new virus

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on April 02nd, 2020

People who struggle with asthma are at high risk of contracting the new virus, since their respiratory and immune systems are compromised to a great extent. Therefore, they should take extra precautions to avoid infection with the coronavirus.

Over 25 million people in the U.S. struggle with asthma, a common inflammatory disease of the airways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 13 individuals suffers from asthma. Since it is a disease which affects the respiratory system, asthma entails a greater likelihood of contracting the new coronavirus, as people who suffer from it have a weak immune system. The U.S. is still the country with the largest number of diagnosed coronavirus cases at the moment, namely more than 3 million. If you have asthma, you need to take extra precautions to avoid infection.

What is asthma?

In a person who suffers from asthma, the airways narrow and swell, producing large amounts of mucus, and thereby causing the individual to have difficulty breathing normally. People with asthma may also experience symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing. The condition is permanent, as there is currently no cure for it. Consequently, people who struggle with asthma have a long-term health problem. However, the symptoms can successfully be kept under control by taking certain medication, including leukotriene modifiers, corticosteroids and theophylline, which relaxes the muscles around the airways and makes breathing easier.

People who have asthma experience attacks, which are triggered by various agents present in the air they breathe, including tobacco smoke, mold, pets, dust mites, weather changes and pollen. While for some individuals, asthma causes little discomfort, for others, it is a debilitating health condition. The degree to which the airways are affected can vary greatly from person to person. Although the cause of asthma is not completely understood, medical researchers came to the conclusion that the condition is the result of a combination of complex environmental and genetic interactions.

Can asbestos exposure cause asthma?

Exposure to asbestos occurs when one inhales or ingests asbestos fibers. While a definitive correlation between asbestos exposure and asthma has not yet been made, medical studies suggest that the former can trigger the latter by causing airway obstruction. As a consequence, bronchial asthma will develop. According to a study conducted on the Norwegian population, nearly 15% of the people exposed to hazardous occupational agents, including asbestos, developed asthma within a few years. Therefore, there may be a connection between asbestos exposure and asthma. Nonetheless, whether it was the cause of asthma in the first place, asbestos can trigger asthma attacks in people with the condition.

There were numerous industries which used asbestos in enormous amounts before 1980, when it was finally regulated by health agencies, since the mineral has multiple convenient properties, such as durability and resistance to fire, chemicals and electricity. Some of the occupations with a history of heavy asbestos exposure include chemical plant workers, insulators, power plant workers, electricians, textile mill workers, carpenters, sheet metal workers, millwrights and construction workers.

Why are people with asthma more susceptible to contracting the new virus?

As a chronic respiratory disease, asthma places individuals who suffer from it at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus, since their respiratory system is weak and functions improperly. Furthermore, people who have asthma also have a poor immune system, which is a known risk factor for coronavirus. The lung capacity of asthma patients is also low, which only increases their chances of infection with the new virus. If you struggle with asthma and experience a worsening of your symptoms or a new onset of symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately, as you may have contracted the coronavirus.

The main symptoms you should be looking for if you suspect you became infected with the new virus are:

  • a persisting cough
  • fever
  • difficulty breathing

Nevertheless, to make matters worse, people who suffer from asthma and contracted the new virus are also more prone to serious health complications, such as severe muscle pain, heart attack, acute respiratory distress syndrome, irregular heart rate, fatigue, cardiovascular shock and even death. Therefore, it is crucial to take extra precautions during the coronavirus epidemic, such as:

  • washing your hand thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • maintaining social distance, which means keeping at least 3 feet between you and those around you when you go outside
  • avoiding leaving your home unless emergency reasons are involved, such as buying groceries or seeking medical attention
  • covering your nose and mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze
  • wearing a face mask when outside, particularly if you have symptoms
  • refraining from touching your eyes, nose and mouth if you have not properly washed your hands before
  • keeping up with the news regarding the coronavirus so that you can learn about other protective measures you can take to avoid infection

People with asthma may qualify for compensation

If you have a history of occupational asbestos exposure and are currently struggling with asthma, you may be eligible for compensation from asbestos trust funds. Contact our attorneys for a free of charge case evaluation. To determine whether asbestos fibers are present in your lungs, the medical experts we collaborate with will conduct various tests. In the unfortunate case asbestos fibers are found in your lungs, you may apply for compensation by having one of our lawyers file a claim with asbestos trust funds and, if you are a veteran, with the VA as well.

It is important to take legal action as soon as you discover your diagnosis, since asbestos exposure cases have a statute of limitations of 3 years. Thereby, if you fail to file a claim within this period of time, you will no longer qualify for it. Another worthy of note aspect is that, unless we recover financial compensation for you, you will not have to pay our law firm anything, as we work on a contingency fee basis. Eventually, after gathering enough proof, we will obtain the maximum amount of money you are entitled to for your physical and emotional distress from all the parties at fault.