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World Asthma Day

World Asthma Day is observed on the first Tuesday of May every year to raise awareness about asthma and how this dreadful disease can be controlled with proper treatment and cure. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes difficulty in breathing due to the narrow airways in the body. According to the CDC, one in thirteen Americans have Asthma and this day is observed to spread awareness among the masses and to educate them about the complication of asthma.

World Asthma Day (WAD) (May 5, 2021) is organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma, (GINA), a World Health Organization collaborative organization founded in 1993. WAD is held each May to raise awareness of Asthma worldwide.


History

This day was founded in 1993 by Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) in collaboration with World Health Organisation. It was first observed in 1998 in more than 35 countries.

WHO considers this day of major public health importance. According to WHO, it was estimated that more than 339 million people had Asthma globally and there were 417,918 deaths due to asthma at the global level in 2016.


Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, also called episodes or exacerbations.


World Asthma Day 2021 Theme:

This year, the theme for World Asthma Day is “Uncovering Asthma Misconceptions”. The theme to uncover the asthma misconceptions is to destigmatize the misconception related to the complication of asthma.


Common misconceptions of asthma:

  • Asthma is a childhood disease, a person can grow out of it as they age.

  • Asthma sufferers should avoid exercising.

  • Asthma is controllable with high-dose steroids.

  • Asthma is infectious.

The Truth:

  • Asthma can occur at any age (in children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly)

  • Asthma is not infectious. However, viral respiratory infections (such as the common cold and the flu) can cause asthma attacks. Or In children, asthma is frequently associated with allergy, but asthma which starts in adulthood is less often allergic.

  • When asthma is well controlled, asthma subjects are able to exercise and even perform a top sport.

  • Asthma is most often controllable with low dose inhaled steroids


What should a person with asthma do?

An asthmatic person should follow their medication properly and should always keep their nebulizer and inhaler handy. According to CDC, people with asthma should live in a clean environment and they should take as much fresh air as possible.


The impact of COVID-19 on patients with asthma:

The COVID-19 virus can be particularly troubling for those with asthma. It’s important for asthma sufferers to know that they are not at a higher risk for contracting coronavirus. However, people with asthma need to be especially diligent in protecting themselves from the virus through measures such as handwashing and staying away from those who are sick, wear a mask. Masks do not make asthma worse. Symptoms of COVID-19 may be more severe and may lead to poor outcomes for those with asthma. People with asthma need to continue taking their prescribed medications to prevent exacerbations of their asthma.



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