Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID-19 poses a significant risk to all patients with chronic respiratory conditions. Our advice is to ensure that they are well informed and prepared. We recommend practices take the following steps in providing advice to their most vulnerable patients. For further information for health professionals from PCRS-UK click here. For patient advice, top tips come from Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation.

Please note there are new considerations around oral steroids and nebulisers:

  • Oral steroids may increase viral shedding and prolong Covid infection, but may also be crucial in managing an exacerbation. Each patient should be managed according to their own situation, if necessary take specialist advice. Discourage indiscriminate use of oral steroids.
  • Nebulisers may increase spread of diseases such as influenza and COVID-19 and some experts are recommending replacing them with metered dose inhalers and spacers.

Asthma and COPD as a risk factor for COVID-19 mortality

A list of key risk factors for mortality in patients who contract COVID-19 was published on the 11th March in The Lancet. In the Wuhan retrospective cohort study, patients with a chronic respiratory condition who become infected with the novel coronavirus were at higher risk of death:

Condition Case Fatality Ratio
Cardiovascular disease 10.5%
Diabetes 7.3%
Chronic respiratory disease 6.3%
Hypertension 6.0%
Cancer 5.6%
No comorbidities 0.9%

High Risk Asthma and COPD Patient Report

As a part of the OPC response to the COVID-19 situation in the UK, we can provide you with a special report, focused entirely on your High Risk Asthma and COPD patients.

It will list patients and assigns them to risk groups based on a combination of factors in their medical records. Most recent COVID-19 statistics were considered in the inclusion of comorbidities and risk factors which may put your patients at a higher risk. The review period will cover the 12 months prior to the date of the most recent data extraction (Mar 15, 2019 – 2020).

These patients are known to be at higher risk of developing complications following respiratory infection, including exacerbations and even life-threatening pneumonia, and we conservatively estimate that the impact of COVID-19 will be similar if not worse for these groups.

If you would like any additional support to help with identification of specific groups of patients in your register, or to follow-up on the history of any of the patients on the upcoming COVID-19 high-risk report, please do not hesitate to get in touch with OPC UK using the contact details below.

Contact us: or through your regular OPC contact