COVID-19 (New Coronavirus)

In December 2019, a new coronavirus started spreading. It can cause a respiratory illness called COVID-19. Some people may have mild symptoms, while some may get 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
  • Cough (usually dry)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Feeling tired and weak

Other less common symptoms can include:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Pinkeye
  • Hives or rashes
  • Painful blue or purple lesions on toes (COVID toes)
  • Diarrhea or nausea

Most children tend to have mild COVID-19 symptoms that are similar to a cold. They may have:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

The CDC believes symptoms may appear two to 14 days after coming in contact with the virus. WHO has declared it a global pandemic (an outbreak of a new virus that spreads easily).

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 (New Coronavirus) 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.

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.

Kitchen Creativity: Managing Food Allergies During the Coronavirus (COVID-19): People have emptied grocery store shelves in order to stock up due to 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 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 allergies or a respiratory illness like COVID-19. If you have a fever and a cough, call your doctor. 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.

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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.