Chronic Lung Disease and COVID-19
Last updated: March 2, 2022
If you live with chronic lung disease, you have a higher risk of developing more serious illness from COVID-19.
Your physician can review your medical record to help you understand your personal risk. More information about chronic lung disease and COVID-19 is available from the American Lung Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Here are answers to some common questions you may have. This information might change as we learn more about COVID-19. If you have other questions, talk to your physician.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Am I more likely to get COVID-19 because I have chronic lung disease?
- What can I do to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What should I do if I have chronic lung disease and symptoms of COVID-19?
- If I have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 but do not have symptoms, what should I do?
If you live with chronic lung disease, you are not more likely to get COVID-19. However, you are more likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19.
The virus causes intense infection and inflammation in the body. This can place more stress on the lungs for people who live with chronic lung disease, including:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)
- Interstitial lung diseases
Having another condition like chronic lung disease can lead to more severe complications and weaken the body’s ability to fight an infection like COVID-19.
Everyone should follow CDC guidelines to help prevent COVID-19 exposure and infection. We urge you to:
- Get vaccinated.
- Wear a mask.
- Physically distance.
- Eat well.
- Reduce stress.
- Get plenty of sleep.
Take your medication exactly as prescribed by your physician. Keep at least a 30-day supply of your medications, including inhalers. If you need a refill, call your physician or send a request through MyNM. While refilling your prescription, you can limit exposure to COVID-19 by using a mail-order service or drive-thru pharmacy. Or, have a caregiver pick up your medication.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, you should be tested for COVID-19. Learn about your testing options in the COVID-19 Resource Center at nm.org/covid19.
The answer depends on many factors. Follow guidelines from the CDC.