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Protecting COPD sufferers during COVID-19 Pandemic

People with underlying conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at a higher risk during the COVID-19 crisis. But social distancing and handwashing are just some of the measures people with COPD need to take to stay safe, according to an article on Nursing Standard.

A key factor in self-management of COPD during the pandemic is to stop smoking, as smokers are more vulnerable to the virus. Ensuring patients have enough of their medication and are taking it correctly is also essential.

Because there are many similarities between the symptoms of COPD and COVID-19, it is integral to know the difference between the two: people with COPD often have shortness of breath and a cough, with or without sputum, while those suffering from COVID-19 also tend to have fatigue and a fever.

To maintain proper social distancing, many people have been using telehealth to communicate with their physician instead of going into the office. When patients with COPD are speaking with a nurse or doctor about their fears that they may have contracted coronavirus, it is important that they be able to answer questions about the nature of their cough and if it has changed in any way, as well as any fever they may have experienced.

Of course, the best way for those with COPD to guard against a COVID-19 infection is to practice the same guidelines that have been in place since the pandemic started – repeated handwashing for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth; disinfecting surfaces; and self-isolating. It is also highly recommended that people with COPD wear a mask if they must be out in public.

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