Upcoming Trainee Topic: Viral Transmission in COPD
María Gómez Antunes from the Department of Internal Medicine at the Gregorio Marañón University Hospital in Madrid.
The transmission of viruses such as Covid-19 or influenza in patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) This is a problem that worries internal medicine doctors. In fact, one of the main symptoms of viral diseases is respiratory problems. Therefore, internists denounce that “ Current guidelines do not offer recommendations for active reduction viral transmission in patients with COPD“.
This makes it a pressing issue for him, because as a result of the covid pandemic, “COPD patients are more concerned about the development of this virus.” This is what he points out Maria Gomezfrom the Department of Internal Medicine of the Gregorio Marañón University Hospital in Madrid, c XV Meeting of the COPD Group of the Spanish Society of Internal Medicine (SEMI).
In his presentation on “Impact of Covid-19 on our COPD patients” emphasizes that all internists should “consider the need to use a mask and maintain other measures, such as hand washing, in these patients with chronic respiratory disease, especially in flu epidemic months“.
What is clear to Gomez is that s the emergence of Covid-19the fear and concern of these patients is much greater than before, which is why he urges “to focus on the current guidelines to reduce this type of virus transmission and, of course, to emphasize the importance of vaccination“.
COPD patients during the covid pandemic
During this meeting, Gomez stated that “we must view and analyze post-Covid-19 resultsabove all, to collect the various measures taken in order to try to act well in the following cases”. Furthermore, the internist assures that “no conclusions can be drawn from this pandemic, but yes reflections“.
Likewise, Gomez states that they expected “more Impact of Covid-19 on COPD patientsbut it wasn’t.” In Spain, the prevalence of this respiratory pathology is only 7 percent in those hospitalized for covid. And in this sense, Gómez explains that “the main clinical manifestation was dyspnea, dry cough and headache. ” To all this he adds that in Gregorio Marañón they reviewed that “82 percent of COPD patients were men; 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 Gomez, “is higher in patients with COPD hospitalized for covid for the simple fact that they are older”. This risk of death is also encouraged, primarily, “in men who have other pathologies such as heart disease, highlighting hypertension and heart failure, as well as dementia and chronic renal failure”.
It is well known that one of the risk factors for COPD is tobacco, as a result of which mortality in these patients is increased. For that matter, 44.4 percent of those people die from just tobacco use compared to 34.7% of non-smokers. Similarly, 52.8 percent of people with COPD who smoked died compared with 31.3 percent of those who did not smoke.
The importance of the covid vaccine in patients with COPD
The internist also analyzes in this appointment the importance of vaccines against Covid-19 for patients with COPD. In this regard, Gomez explains that “the emphasis must be placed on risk of covid pneumoniaas this is higher in COPD patients despite being fully vaccinated”.
For this reason, and despite the fact that “these patients should be followed carefully, recommended a covid vaccine as it significantly reduces the risk of mortality in this population group,” he concludes.
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