COVID-19 (New Coronavirus)

In December 2019, a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) started spreading. It can cause a respiratory illness called COVID-19. Some people may have mild symptoms, while some may have complications, like severe pneumonia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), common COVID-19 symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Feeling tired and weak
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Other symptoms reported are:
  • Pinkeye
  • Painful blue or purple lesions (such as a sore or bruise) on toes (COVID toes)
  • Hives or rashes

If you have these emergency warning signs, call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately:

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away
  • Newly confused or can’t wake up
  • Bluish tint on lips, face or fingernails

This list may not include all symptoms. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after coming in contact with the virus. If you have any symptoms that are severe or concerning, call your doctor within 24 hours.

How has COVID-19 affected you and your family? AAFA would like to hear the experiences, perceptions and needs of asthma and allergy families related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to better serve people with asthma and allergies as our understanding of COVID-19 evolves.

If you would like to provide support or share your experiences with COVID-19, please email

How Does COVID-19 Affect People With Asthma and Allergies?

As COVID-19 increasingly impacts the U.S., you may wonder what that means for people with asthma and allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has put together some educational resources and tips to help you stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What People With Asthma Need to Know: COVID-19 is an infection that affects the lungs. This blog post gives general information on COVID-19, as well as important information people with asthma need to know about risk, prevention and what to do it you catch it. It also includes frequently asked questions answered by Dr. Mitchell Grayson, allergist and chair of AAFA's Medical Scientific Council.

Managing Asthma at School During the COVID-19 Pandemic – AAFA’s COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools: Schools that are required to reopen in the fall face new challenges trying to teach while preventing the spread of the new coronavirus. Tactics to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 may impact staff and students with asthma. AAFA has created a COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools to provide supplemental guidance to assist schools as they develop their policies and procedures.

What People With Asthma Need to Know About Face Masks and Coverings During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Face coverings are an important part of our fight against the new coronavirus. But how do face coverings and masks affect people with asthma? What are the best options for people with asthma, especially if your job requires them? We answer many of the questions you may have concerning asthma and face coverings or masks.

Please Don’t Stop Taking Your Asthma Medicines Due to the Coronavirus – a guest blog post from Dr. Mitchell Grayson: Some information has led to confusion about if asthma medicines can increase your chance of getting COVID-19. Dr. Grayson addresses these concerns and why it's still important to take your asthma medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Protecting Your Hands From Eczema During Coronavirus and Flu Outbreaks: Frequent and proper hand-washing is a critical part of protecting yourself from COVID-19. But if you have eczema, washing your hands often can lead to uncomfortable eczema flare-ups. Dr. Jonathan Silverberg, a member of our Medical Scientific Council, answers questions on how you can protect your hands while protecting yourself from COVID-19.

Why Healthy Indoor Air Quality Is Important When Spending More Time Indoors Due to COVID-19: Indoor environments can contain asthma and allergy triggers. And many of us have been spending more time indoors because of COVID-19. But there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to those indoor triggers.

COVID-19 Guidelines for Schools and the Impact on Kids With Food Allergies: COVID-19 has caused many schools to change their policies and procedures, such as where children will eat lunch. This article includes guidance for parents and school staff on managing food allergies while reducing the spread of the new coronavirus.

Kitchen Creativity: Managing Food Allergies During the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Food supplies have been affected because of COVID-19. For people with food allergies who already have limited allergy-friendly food choices, this can create additional challenges. This blog post offers some creative kitchen ideas for a time when supplies may be limited.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis: Some States Open Enrollment for Health Insurance: Many people who recently lost their jobs are now uninsured but need health insurance due to COVID-19. Several states have reopened their health insurance enrollment periods. This resource includes a list of states that have opened up their health insurance marketplaces temporarily.

How Can I Tell the Difference Between Asthma, COVID-19 (New Coronavirus), the Flu, a Cold or Seasonal Allergies?

There are some symptoms that are similar between these respiratory illnesses. This chart can help you figure out if you may be feeling symptoms of asthma, allergies or a respiratory illness like COVID-19, the flu or a cold. If you have a fever and a cough, call your doctor right away. If you have seasonal allergies, there are things you can do to treat at home.

Information is still changing. We will update this chart as new evidence comes out.

Where Can I Find More Information on COVID-19?

You can find more information about COVID-19 from these sites:

We're here to support you during the COVID-19 pandemic. Join our online community for support in an encouraging environment and to learn more about protecting yourself from COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.