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COPD and coronavirus

Last updated: 2 May 2020 5.40pm

Having COPD may put you at a higher risk of serious illness if you get coronavirus.

Follow the advice for people who may be at higher risk groups from coronavirus.

Manage your COPD well during this period. Take your COPD medicine as prescribed. Do not stop taking any medicines unless your GP tells you to.

You should have a communication card and self- management plan.

If you do not, download a:

Follow your communication card action plan and take your inhalers as normal. Carry your reliever inhaler (usually blue) with you at all times.

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to COPD. They include breathlessness and cough. But look out for a ‘new’ fever. This is the main symptom of coronavirus that is different from COPD symptoms.

If you get coronavirus

You will have treatment for coronavirus at home unless you need to be admitted to hospital. This decision will be made with your GP.

It will depend on your:

  • symptoms
  • home situation
  • COPD condition
  • risk of spreading coronavirus

If you are being treated at home, take all your inhalers as normal. Your GP may add steroids if you need them.


If you are already taking steroids, continue to take them.

This includes inhalers (preventer inhalers).

Taking your preventer inhaler will decrease your risk of worsening COPD. It will also reduce your respiratory symptoms.

Support for COPD

Phone the COPD advice line - Freephone: 1800 83 21 46.

Advice on how to manage your COPD from COPD Support Ireland

Looking after your mental health

It is difficult living with cancer during the current uncertainty.

Read advice about minding your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak.

Related topics

People at higher risk from coronavirus

How to self-isolate

How to get tested

Dealing with fake health information

Join the Fight Against Coronavirus.

Download the CovidTracker app