World Allergy Organization Launches World Allergy Week 2020 on COVID-19 and Allergic Diseases

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Do not stop your regular allergy care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allergists can help ease patients’ concerns by identifying the differences between allergies and COVID-19, making health assessments, and reviewing treatment plans.

World Allergy Organization (WAO), serving its membership of professional allergy/immunology societies around the world, dedicates World Allergy Week, from June 28 to July 4, 2020, to the importance of continued allergy self-care during the global pandemic caused by SARS CoV-2.

COVID-19, short for “coronavirus disease 2019”, is a disease spreading around the world caused by infection with a new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Patients with symptoms are very contagious, but even those with mild or no symptoms can still infect others. A vaccine against COVID-19 is not yet available.

Symptom similarity between allergies and COVID-19 can be confusing. Sneezing and itching, for example, are common in allergic rhinitis, while fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath appear in COVID-19. Allergists can help ease patients’ concerns by identifying the differences between allergies and COVID-19, making health assessments, and reviewing treatment plans.

Motohiro Ebisawa, MD, PhD, of Sagamihara National Hospital in Sagamihara, Japan, and President of the World Allergy Organization, announced the focus of World Allergy Week 2020. “We are bringing attention to the need for regular allergy and asthma self-care, which is always important and even more so during the current global pandemic. Allergic diseases, particularly asthma, may affect COVID-19 infections as well as be affected by them and our attempts to limit the spread of the virus. Patients should consult their physicians about getting the care they need while limiting their exposure to the virus, and they should consult them immediately about any changes in health status.”

International experts will explore the topic of “COVID-19 and Allergic Diseases” in a complementary webinar on Thursday, 2 July, beginning at 8:00 am EDT (New York). Find your local time by clicking here: World Clock. A live question-and-answer session will follow the presentations. The program will offer information for both a general audience and physicians. Details and registration are now available here: Webinar Registration.

The World Allergy Organization has posted several educational resources and links to other information available online around the world. To learn more about allergic disease and COVID-19, visit http://www.worldallergyweek.org. To find a professional allergy/immunology member society of the World Allergy Organization in your country or region, visit: http://www.worldallergy.org/about-wao/member-societies.
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About the World Allergy Organization

The World Allergy Organization (WAO) is an international alliance of 103 regional and national allergy, asthma and immunology societies. Through collaboration with its Member Societies WAO provides a wide range of educational and outreach programs, symposia and lectureships to allergists/immunologists around the world and conducts initiatives related to clinical practice, service provision, and physical training in order to better understand and address the challenges facing allergists/immunologists worldwide. (http://www.worldallergy.org)

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Sofia Dorsano, CAE
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