High number of social media posts about COVID-19 and asthma by immunology influencers since February, says GlobalData

Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, social media posts related to the virus from immunology influencers increased significantly, with content peaking in March, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s Immunology Influencer database, there were only 2 and 19 COVID-19 posts, respectively, from immunology influencers in January and February. This increased to approximately 280 posts in March and April, while in May it dropped to 200 tweets.

Kathryn Whitney, MSc, Director of Thematic Analysis, comments: “One of the main topics that immunology influencers discussed was asthma and COVID-19. In January, no posts relating to this topic were seen from influencers, while from February to April, asthma was one of the top trending keywords and was seen in approximately 20% of posts. In May, the number of tweets containing asthma increased to almost 35%.”

Many posts highlighted how asthma and other respiratory conditions are associated with worsening outcomes for COVID-19 patients. Interestingly, several tweets from April focused on the importance of maintaining asthma control with inhalers during the COVID-19 pandemic, while posts in May highlighted that inhaler use and adherence had increased during the crisis. Whitney concludes: “While having an underlying chronic health condition such as asthma does not increase the risk of contracting COVID-19, it does raise the likelihood of progressing to severe COVID-19 if infected. Many international respiratory bodies have urged those with asthma to maintain control of their symptoms and reduce the risk of severe COVID-19 complications. As seen in the Twitter posts from May, inhaler use appears to have increased during the pandemic, which hopefully will lead to better outcomes for these asthmatic patients if they contract COVID-19.”

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