After contracting a serious case of COVID-19, Cassie Stapleton understands just how lucky it was that she had her asthma under control.
With new research showing that uncontrolled asthma leads to an increased risk of severe COVID-19, hospitalisation and even death, it is becoming clear that asthma is only a COVID-19 risk if it’s not being well managed.
For people who are in control of their asthma, the evidence shows they face no significant increase in risk. This is something Cassie has experienced firsthand.
Cassie was already managing her asthma well with the use of an Asthma Action Plan when she came down with the virus early on in the pandemic.
“When I was first diagnosed back in April 2020 with COVID-19 it was an eye opener,” said Cassie.
“It was nothing I’d never experienced before. I couldn’t breathe and I had rashes.”
Cassie credits Asthma Australia with giving her the tools she needed to stay in control of her symptoms during what was a scary time in her life.
“I knew to stay sitting upright off my lungs, not to lay down, take my prescription puffer (which has budesonide in it), to take my antihistamines, take blood clotting medicine and do deep breathing exercises,” she said.
“If I hadn’t had a good asthma plan in place, which was highly recommended to me by Asthma Australia, I wouldn’t have known what to do.”
Cassie isn’t the only one who turned to Asthma Australia’s Asthma Support and Education Team for help during the pandemic.
With the new research showing the links between asthma control and COVID-19 outcomes, it’s clear just how important understanding asthma and learning how to manage it really is. A phone call to Asthma Australia’s Asthma Education and Support team could make all the difference.
At the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, the 1800 ASTHMA phone support service experienced more than double the amount of calls, while demand for website and social media information increased exponentially. In total, 1 in 5 calls Nationally (1 in 3 in NSW) have been COVID-19-related.
With so many people living with asthma continuing to experience significant changes and challenges surrounding access to their healthcare, Asthma Australia has made an effort to pivot their role to one that responds to, and continually advocates for, people’s needs.
For Cassie, this information allowed her to recover from her illness at a time where very little was understood about the implications of having asthma and contracting COVID-19.
“For the information I was provided I am forever grateful and I’ve personally found Asthma Australia’s information on their website and social media helpful – it’s changed my life,” she said.
“I check in weekly for any new information I may need.”
If you are concerned about your asthma, or the asthma of a loved one, please call our free support line on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) to speak to a member of our Asthma Education and Support Team today.