Emphysema Foundation of America

Donate Learn More Tell us your story


Emphysema Foundation of America is concerned about the health and safety of those with chronic lung disease, their caregivers, families, and communities.

With the recent news about the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) we wanted to share some health tips to follow for COVID-19 prevention:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are symptomatic or may have been exposed to individuals with symptoms of the disease.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly; alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective. Note: it is not recommended to make your own hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick (and keep sick children home from school).
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. If you use a tissue, wash your hands afterwards.
  • Urge others to wash hands frequently and cover their coughs and sneezes as well.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces including cellphones.


For individuals with emphysema or COPD:

  • Make sure you have a 30-day supply of current medications on hand.
  • Stock up on household supplies.
  • Contact your oxygen supplier to ask what plans they have made to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in your community.
  • If you rely on a visiting nurse or aide to help you in your home, check with them to make sure they are following recommended protocols for prevention.
  • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
  • Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
  • If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus.
  • Have a plan if you get sick. Consult with your health care provider for more information about monitoring your health for symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
  • Determine who can provide you with care if your caregiver gets sick.
  • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath, as well as any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. In adults, notable emergency warning signs include:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
  • Some symptoms of COVID-19 may be similar to what you would experience with a COPD flare-up (exacerbation) but watch for a high fever. High-grade fevers are a common symptom of COVID-19 but is not a common symptom of COPD flare-ups.
  • If you are concerned about symptoms that are not typical when you have a flare-up, contact your doctor.
  • If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor or ER instead of visiting. If you do have coronavirus and you visit unannounced, then you could expose others to the disease.


The CDC currently recommends the use of masks when out in public or around others.

You can also find additional information on COVID-19 and get up-to-date health information from both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and more information on CDC recommendations for those with chronic lung disease.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at info@emphysema.org and continue to visit our website here for all the latest information and updates.

Family and Patient Care

Emphysema Foundation of America provides emphysema and COPD education, information, and support to improve the overall lung health and quality of life of those suffering with from chronic lung disease and COPD.

From our peer support program Strive and our Annual Conference on COPD and lung health to our online services, we provide the resources to ensure you and your loved ones are cared for. Learn more here and find out how EFA can help you today.

About Emphysema & COPD

COPD includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, severe (refractory) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis. Emphysema involves damage to the alveoli (air sacs) in the lungs over time. The tiny alveoli carry oxygen to the bloodstream, and if they are damaged it may be difficult to breathe.

Learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of these lung diseases here.

How to Get Involved

Interested in donating to the Emphysema Foundation of America and helping us continue to provide programs and initiatives that support those suffering from Emphysema and COPD?

Learn more about the different ways you can contribute to EFA, from giving options to volunteer opportunities, and make a difference today.

News & Updates

Stay up to date with our campaign. Sign up here!


Are you interested in helping the campaign? Let us know!