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Acceptability of hygiene, face covering and social distancing interventions to prevent exacerbations in people living with airways diseases
  1. John R Hurst1,
  2. Andrew Cumella2,
  3. Camila Nagoda Niklewicz1,
  4. Keir E J Philip3,
  5. Victoria Singh4,
  6. Nicholas S Hopkinson3
  1. 1 UCL Respiratory, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2 Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership, London, UK
  3. 3 National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK
  4. 4 Royal Brompton Hospital, London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor John R Hurst, University College London, London, UK; j.hurst{at}


Interventions to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 have been associated with substantial reductions in exacerbations of airways diseases, likely through reduced transmission of other respiratory viruses. We surveyed 4442 people with airways disease (asthma=3627, bronchiectasis=258, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease=557) to gauge attitudes and intentions towards continuing such measures after the COVID-19 pandemic. 47% intended to continue wearing a face mask in indoor public spaces, and 61% thought everyone should be required to do so during the ‘influenza season. Women, those with bronchiectasis, and older people were generally more cautious. Respiratory virus infection control measures should be considered in clinical guidelines and public health recommendations.

  • asthma
  • bronchiectasis
  • COPD epidemiology
  • COPD exacerbations

Data availability statement

The data belong to the Asthma UK–British Lung Foundation Partnership and requests for data sharing can be made to the charity.

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Data availability statement

The data belong to the Asthma UK–British Lung Foundation Partnership and requests for data sharing can be made to the charity.

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  • Twitter @acumella, @keirphilip, @COPDdoc

  • Contributors The survey was designed by AC and NSH with input from JRH. Data were analysed by JRH. The first draft was written by JRH. All authors revised the manuscript for important intellectual content and approved the final version for submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests JRH reports personal fees, and non-financial support from pharmaceutical companies that make medicines to treat respiratory disease, outside the submitted work. No other authors have any competing interests to declare.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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