Study examines risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms for people with allergies

A new study has found people with allergies do not face a greater risk of a more severe illness if they are infected with the coronavirus.

Regardless, asthma patient Donna Bruckner said, “I still feel like I still need to be more careful than maybe the average person.”

Bruckner also takes shots for allergies. She and her family have worked hard to keep their family bubble tight during this pandemic.

“The overall concern in our family was me because of the asthma history,” Bruckner said.

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At the start of the pandemic, the fear of the unknown kept the Bruckners extremely cautious to avoid any exposure to COVID-19.

“It was really hard to imagine how another respiratory illness on top of that could impact it. So, there was definitely a level of fear,” Bruckner said.


A new study presented at the annual scientific meeting at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology now offers some relief.

“It suggests that patients who have allergies may not be at that increased risk of having such a severe complication if they did develop COVID,” said Dr. Stanley Fineman with Atlanta Allergy and Asthma.

That may seem reassuring, but Bruckner said it’s not a guarantee to ease up.

“There’s definitely a sense of relief on the one hand, but on the other hand I still feel like this virus is so unpredictable,” she said.

For this reason, she’ll continue to only make essential trips out of the home and double mask every time she leaves home.

Fineman said similar studies in Italy and Wuhan, China showed the same results – no greater risk of complications for people with allergic diseases. He expects research in this field to continue.

“Nevertheless, we are telling our patients they need to take precautions,” Fineman said.

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