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Donna Lazorik Pic Posted by Donna Lazorik, RN, MS. Donna is the Immunization Coordinator in the Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

If you have asthma, you’re probably familiar with the wheezing, breathlessness and coughing that come with it. But did you know that the flu can make your asthma worse, and that having asthma puts you at higher risk for serious flu complications? According to the CDC, even if your asthma is controlled by medicine, getting the flu can make your asthma more severe. It can even land you in the hospital.

The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and best way to protect against the flu. People with asthma or other medical conditions should get the flu shot rather than the nasal spray.

While flu symptoms and severity can vary, the flu is typically worse than the common cold. Symptoms can include fever, headache, tiredness, cough and muscle aches. Vomiting and diarrhea also can occur, although this is more common in children.

There is still plenty of vaccine available so call your health care provider to schedule an appointment or search for a public flu clinic online at http://www.mylocalclinic.com. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/flu

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