Coronavirus: Idris Elba says his asthma puts him in ‘high risk’ category

Idris Elba has explained that his asthma puts him in the category of people who are “most at risk” from coronavirus, days after revealing his diagnosis.

Earlier this week, Elba released a video announcing that he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Yesterday evening, the Thor actor decided to provide a further update on his condition, sharing a couple of videos on live video streaming platform Periscope.

In one of the videos, Elba stated that he has reason to feel concerned about his coronavirus diagnosis due to his respiratory issue.

“I have asthma, and so I sort of fit in the high category of most at risk,” the 47-year-old said. “I have a respiratory issue and I’ve asthma all my life, so catching corona was definitely not on my bucket list at all.”

However, Elba has so far not experienced any difficulties with his asthma, he stated.

“But even my asthma is ok,” he said. “I don’t feel any restriction within my breathing or within my lungs. I have a little bit of a runny nose but I don’t think that’s anything.

“I haven’t been coughing too much. I generally feel ok.”

The Asthma UK website outlines that when a person with asthma contracts a respiratory infection, this can “set off their asthma symptoms”.

The organisation has provided tips for people with asthma that they can follow in order to reduce their risk fo asthma symptoms, including ensuring that they keep taking their preventer inhaler daily as prescribed, they carry a reliever inhaler and that they follow a peak flow diary, keeping note of their asthma symptoms.

During his live video broadcast, Elba addressed a “myth” that has been circulating that claims that black people cannot catch coronavirus. 

The actor decried the claim as “dumb” and “silly” stating: “My people, black people, black people please please please understand that coronavirus is… you can get it.”

“There are so many stupid, ridiculous conspiracy theories about black people not being able to get it. That’s dumb, it’s stupid, alright. That is the quickest way to get more black people killed,” he said.

“This disease does not discriminate. I’m saying this because I think it’s definitely some weird myth that people are sending out there, and as a black person I need to say something.”

The actor also addressed why he underwent a test for coronavirus despite not having exhibited any symptoms.

Elba explained that he had been due to start filming, being surrounded by large groups of people, when he learnt that a person he had been in contact with had tested positive for the virus.

“Quite honestly my job made me test immediately. I had to test anyway because it meant putting a lot of people,” he said.

“From my perspective it was the best thing to do,” Elba stated, adding that he hopes people “can get tested quickly because I think early detected is going to help squash this”.

If you have any coronavirus symptoms or have recently travelled to an affected area, contact the NHS helpline on 111 and do not visit your GP or hospital.

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