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2012 Brings an Early Flu Season

Numerous media outlets are reporting a particularly severe and earlier-than-usual flu season.

Respiratory infections like influenza, or the flu, are more serious in patients with asthma, and such infections can often lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease.  Yet, only one-third of all asthmatic adults and one-fifth of asthmatic adults younger than 50 years of age receive the flu vaccine annually, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that was published in the September 2003 issue of Chest (the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians).

If you, or someone you love, has asthma, receiving an annual flu vaccination is extremely important, and with the flu vaccine being as safe and effective as it is, choosing not to receive the vaccine is taking unnecessary and unwise risk. ¬†Recent studies show that even individuals with confirmed egg allergy can receive the flu vaccine if certain precautions are taken. If you or your child’s reaction to eating eggs is hives only, the vaccine can be administered in the primary care provider’s office with a 30 minute observation period afterward. If the reaction to eating eggs involves other symptoms such as difficulty breathing or lightheadedness, the vaccine should be administered in an allergist’s office, again with a 30 minute observation period afterward.