Be ‘Rigid’ with Social Distancing in Pandemic, Pulmonary Expert Insists

Be ‘Rigid’ with Social Distancing in Pandemic, Pulmonary Expert Insists
3.8
(19)

People with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and other chronic lung disorders should strictly limit social contact during the global spread of the respiratory illness COVID-19, a pulmonary expert said.

Rahat Hussain, MD, a pulmonologist and assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Texas (UT) Health Science Center at Houston, advises PF and other lung disease patients to take such precautions because they are at higher risk of severe complications if infected.

“Because the virus attacks the lungs, patients with chronic lung disease such as asthma, COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease], and pulmonary fibrosis are more susceptible to the COVID-19 infection,” Hussain, who is also a pulmonary medicine specialist at UT Physicians, said in a press release.

“The best thing for patients with chronic lung conditions to do during this time is to practice social distancing very rigidly. They should stay six feet apart from others, wash hands frequently, and make sure they have a plan of action in place in case they become infected with the virus,” Hussain added.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness with symptoms such as cough, fever, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. Some of these symptoms, however, can mimic those of chronic lung diseases, which affect about 35 million U.S. residents, including the roughly 100,000 individuals who have idiopathic PF.

To help prevent the contraction or spread of COVID-19, Hussain recommends the following measures:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Immediately change your clothes after returning from a doctor visits or places such as the grocery store
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Shower often
  • When using public transportation, keep at least six feet (about two meters) away from others
  • Strictly obey official stay-at-home orders
  • Regularly disinfect commonly used items, such as phones, tablets, computer keyboards, TV remotes, and doorknobs
  • Have at least a two-month supply of medications on hand
  • Speak with a healthcare provider about what to do if coronavirus infection is suspected
  • Know where the closest COVID-19 testing site is
  • Develop a course of action and determine where to go if infected.

“The virus is still very new. We know the effects it has on the lungs, and so right now the best thing to do is heed the warnings, stay home, and if you think you have COVID-19, please get yourself checked at any of the locations that the city has set near you and contact your lung doctor immediately to follow their guidance on what to do next,” Hussain said.

More information about COVID-19 and its risks to people with PF can be found on our site.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
Total Posts: 110
Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
×
Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
Latest Posts
  • Breathless Balad Challenge
  • AMP945 designation
  • Covid-19 tips

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 3.8 / 5. Vote count: 19

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?