• Newsletter September 2015 - Asthma and the Flu

    The traditional start of flu season is only a few weeks away. Influenza (flu) can be more serious for people with allergies and asthma, even if their asthma is mild or their symptoms are well-controlled by medication. This is because people with asthma often have swollen and sensitive airways and influenza can cause further inflammation of the airways and lungs. Influenza infection in the lungs can trigger asthma attacks and a worsening of asthma symptoms. It also can lead to pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases, which in turn can lead to serious complications.

    Which flu vaccine should people with asthma get?

    Flu shots (made with inactivated (killed) flu virus) are approved for use in people 6 months and older regardless of whether or not they have asthma or other health conditions. The flu shot has a long established safety record in people with asthma.

    Nasal spray vaccine: While the nasal spray vaccine is approved for use in people 2 through 49 years of age, children 2 years through 4 years who have asthma or who have had a history of wheezing in the past 12 months should not get the nasal spray vaccine. People of any age with asthma might be at increased risk for wheezing after getting the nasal spray flu vaccine. Also, the safety of the nasal spray flu vaccine in people with lung disease and some other high risk conditions has not been established.

    If you do get sick with flu symptoms, call your primary care doctor and take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor recommends them. Keep in mind that antivirals should be taken with 48 hours of symptom onset or exposure.

    Please call to schedule your asthma check-up appointment. We are happy to help you develop your Asthma Action Plan in preparation for the flu season.


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