Asthma, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 and Coronavirus Disease 2019

Dylan T. Timberlake; Kasey Strothman; Mitchell H. Grayson


Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol. 2021;21(2):182-187. 

In This Article


In December 2019, the emergence of COVID-19 from SARS-CoV-2 led to a worldwide pandemic that was exacerbated by a substantial gap in medical knowledge. This gap led medical providers and organizations to rely on prior experience with other HCoVs (both pandemic and nonpandemic) to make recommendations. However, as the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 has evolved, it has become evident that COVID-19 is dissimilar from disease caused by non-SARS-CoVs in many ways. Unlike HCoVs, which are a frequent cause of asthma exacerbations, SARS-CoV-2 does not appear to exacerbate asthma. Further, data thus far strongly suggest that patients with asthma are at no increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 or more severe disease should they get COVID-19. Although the data are extremely limited on asthma therapeutics, there remain no data suggesting that these therapeutics positively or negatively impact the severity or outcome of COVID-19. Many patients have expressed concern over continuing ICS therapy during this pandemic due to initial comments made by public health organizations. However, these warnings have not borne out, and it is clear that patients with asthma need to continue their controller medications to maintain good asthma control. This review is accurate as of the time of this writing, but as everything during a pandemic, the science is constantly evolving, and it is imperative that practitioners keep abreast of the changing literature as we await a vaccine and control of this pandemic.