Pending subject for Intern: viral transmission in COPD

María Gómez Antúnez, from the Internal Medicine Service of the Gregorio Marañón University Hospital in Madrid.

The transmission of viruses such as Covid-19 or the flu in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) It is an issue that concerns Internal Medicine doctors. In fact, one of the main symptoms of viral diseases is respiratory problems. Therefore, the internists denounce that “the Current guidelines do not offer recommendations to actively reduce viral transmission in COPD patients“.

This makes it his pending subject since, as a result of the covid pandemic, “COPD patients are more concerned about developing this virus.” This is what he points out Maria Gomezof the Internal Medicine Service of the Gregorio Marañón University Hospital in Madrid, in the XV Meeting of the COPD Group of the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI).

In his exposition on the ‘Impact of Covid-19 on our COPD patients‘ emphasizes that all internists must “reflect on the need to use the mask and maintain other measures such as hand washing in those patients with chronic respiratory diseases, especially in the flu epidemic months“.

What is clear to Gómez is that with the appearance of Covid-19the fear and concern of these patients is much greater than before, which is why he insists on “focusing on the current guidelines to reduce this type of viral transmission and, of course, stressing the importance of vaccination“.

COPD patients during the covid pandemic

During this meeting, Gómez states that “we must see and analyze the results after Covid-19above all, to collect the different measures implemented to try to act well on the next occasions”. In addition, the internist assures that “no conclusions can be drawn from this pandemic, but yes reflections“.

Likewise, Gómez states that they expected “more Impact of Covid-19 on COPD patientsbut it was not like that.” In Spain, the prevalence of this respiratory pathology was only 7 percent in those hospitalized for covid. And, in this sense, Gómez explains that “the main clinical presentation was dyspnea, dry cough and headache.” To all this he adds that in the Gregorio Marañón they reviewed that “82 percent of patients with COPD were males; 77.4 percent were older than 70 years and 10 percent active smokers“.

And the fact is that this is directly related to mortality, which, according to Gómez, “is higher in COPD patients hospitalized for covid for the simple fact of being older”. This risk of death is also encouraged, predominantly, “in males who have other pathologies such as heart disease, highlighting hypertension and heart failure, as well as dementia and chronic kidney failure”.

It is well known that one of the risk factors for COPD is tobacco, as a result of which mortality is increased in these patients. Regarding this, 44.4 percent of these people die only from the tobacco use compared to 34.7 percent of non-smokers. Similarly, 52.8 percent of people with COPD and smokers die compared to 31.3 percent of those who do not have this habit.

The importance of the covid vaccine in the COPD patient

The internist also analyzes in this appointment the importance of vaccines against Covid-19 for COPD patients. In this regard, Gómez explains that “emphasis must be placed on risk of covid pneumoniasince this is higher in COPD patients despite being fully vaccinated”.

For this reason, and despite the fact that “these patients must be followed closely, recommend the administration of the covid vaccine since this significantly reduces the risk of mortality in this population group,” he concludes.

Although it may contain statements, data or notes from health institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend the reader that any questions related to health be consulted with a health professional.

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