COVID-19 and the American Lung Association: Protection, Risks, and Research

COVID-19 and the American Lung Association: Protection, Risks, and Research

American Lung Association Hosts Weekly Webinars on COVID-19

The American Lung Association will host weekly webinars every Monday at 1 p.m. CT featuring Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Albert Rizzo, who will provide information on COVID-19 and recommendations for people with chronic lung disease and their caregivers. Register for the webinars in advance, watch recorded updates from previous weeks and access our FAQs 24/7—all available online.

Upgraded to a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread through the U.S. and globally. The American Lung Association has updated guidance on how to protect yourself and your family from the virus.

Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones

According to the American Lung Association, in accordance with the CDC, you should practice washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If there is no soap or water nearby, you can use hand sanitizer with at least 60-95% alcohol.

At this time it is best to stay away from large gatherings, avoid handshakes, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as this allows germs to spread. If you experience symptoms like fever, cough or shortness of breath or you have been in close contact with someone exhibiting these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider and stay home to avoid contact with others.

Who Is Most At-Risk for the COVID-19?

Those with underlying health conditions, and particularly those individuals living with chronic lung disease such as asthma, COPD, IPF, and interstitial lung disease may be especially susceptible to contracting COVID-19. These individuals must practice social distancing, avoid public places when possible and heed all public health warnings.

Medical Discovery and Treatment Strategies

John Schoggins, Ph.D., researcher from the American Lung Association and associate professor of microbiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, made an exciting medical discovery in March.  Dr. Schoggins and his international colleagues (Charles Rice, Ph.D., at The Rockefeller University in New York and Volker Thiel, Ph.D., at University of Bern in Switzerland) are credited with identifying LY6E, a naturally occurring protein that has been shown to inhibit coronavirus infection.

“My lab has a longstanding history researching how cells defend themselves from viral infection. This particular protein, LY6E, demonstrates the ability to block the COVID-19 virus and other coronaviruses like SARS and MERS from fusing to the cells, thus significantly reducing the probability of infection when tested in vitro [outside living organism]. It also helps the immune system control coronavirus disease in vivo [within living organism],” said Dr. Schoggins.

As more treatment and prevention options become available, we will be updating the Becker COVID-19 page with the latest news and developments.