Update on the Corona pandemic for patients with allergic diseases

Update on the Corona pandemic for patients with allergic diseases

Considering the current highly dynamic situation, Allergopharma GmbH & Co. KG would like to provide you with the latest recommendations from German specialist societies and allergy experts regarding the corona pandemic for patients with allergic diseases.

 

Is there a correlation between allergic respiratory diseases and viral respiratory infections, especially COVID-19?

At present, there is no indication of such a correlation. According to current studies, patients with allergic rhinitis do not develop a more severe course of a COVID-19 infection than other patients. This also applies to allergic children. For asthmatic patients, a continuation of the established long-term therapy is very important – in order to maintain asthma control and to be well prepared for possible viral infections. 

In detail, this question is discussed in a position paper published by the specialist societies Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA), European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), Medical Association of German Allergologists (AeDA), German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI) (Klimek et. al., Allergo J Int 2020; 29).
The full text of the position paper can be found Opens external link in new windowhere.

What are the recommendations regarding allergen immunotherapy (AIT) in noninfected individuals during COVID-19 pandemics or in patients recovered from COVID-19 infection?

In COVID-19-free patients, an AIT can be started after careful anamnesis and examination by the treating physician, considering the risk of infection by the patient's personal and professional environment. Ongoing therapies can be continued in asymptomatic patients, the discontinuation of an AIT is not required.

A detailed statement of the experts regarding this issue can also be found in the above-mentioned Opens external link in new windowposition paper.

What are the recommendations regarding allergen immunotherapy (AIT) in patients diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected cases for SARS-CoV-2 infection?

If an COVID-19 infection is confirmed, an ongoing AIT should be interrupted. An interruption of the therapy is also recommended in case of a suspected infection and after contact with SARS-CoV-2 positive patients. An interruption is also recommended after travel to a high-risk area for the period of an adequate quarantine.

A detailed statement of the experts regarding this issue can also be found in the above-mentioned Opens external link in new windowposition paper.  

What are the differences between subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) in relation to the current pandemic situation?

SLIT offers the possibility of administering it at home, without the need for regular visits to the doctor`s office and the associated risks in the current pandemic situation. On the other hand, these regular medical examinations, which are required in the context of a SCIT, allow closer medical supervision and a timely recognition of possible symptoms. Moreover, the possibility of expanding injection intervals in the continuation phase may be beneficial.

A detailed statement of the experts regarding this issue can also be found in the above-mentioned Opens external link in new windowposition paper.

What are the findings of COVID-19 courses in children, especially in relation to chronic respiratory diseases?

According to current data, the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 infections in children is similar to the infection rate in adults. However, the corresponding disease is less common and less severe. There is no evidence that children with stable allergic diseases have a higher risk of SARS-CoV-2 infections than healthy children.

The Society for Pediatric Allergology and Environmental Medicine (GPA) has commented in detail on this topic in a statement, which you can find Opens external link in new windowhere.

 

What considerations should be made regarding ongoing long-term therapy in children with allergic diseases?

Ongoing long-term therapies should be continued in children in order to assure a stable control of the allergic disease. The start of an allergen immunotherapy should be decided on a case-by-case basis, and if necessary, a postponement of the therapy start may be considered due to the current pandemic situation.

The entire statement of the Society for Pediatric Allergology and Environmental Medicine (GPA) can be found Opens external link in new windowhere.

 

Furthermore, the recommendations provided in the information letter dated 02.04.2020 remain valid.

Stay healthy and get through the Corona crisis safely!