Post Content

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 or someone you live with has asthma, you’re probably familiar with the wheezing, loss of breath and coughing that can come with it.  But did you know that getting the flu can make asthma worse?  It can even land a person with asthma in the hospital.  This is true even if the asthma is mild or controlled by medicine. 

Why is this?  People with asthma have swollen and sensitive airways.  Getting the flu can cause the airways and lungs to become even more swollen, which can trigger asthma attacks and a worsening of asthma symptoms.  It can also lead to pneumonia.  Asthma is one of the most common medical conditions among adults and kids who have to be hospitalized with the flu. 

Vaccination is the best way to protect against flu.  The flu shot (rather than the nasal spray vaccine) should be given to people with asthma who are 6 months and older.  Tell your doctor if you have any severe (life-threatening) allergies, including a severe allergy to eggs. Although allergic reactions to the influenza vaccine are rare, a severe allergy to any vaccine component may be a reason not to get the vaccine. Also, because of the risk of developing pneumonia from the flu, a pneumonia (pneumococcal) shot is also recommended. 

If you do not have asthma, but someone you live with does, you should still get a flu shot – keep your loved one and yourself healthy.    

The flu vaccine is widely available.  Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get vaccinated.  Flu vaccines are offered in many locations including doctor’s offices, local health departments and pharmacies.  The best time to get vaccinated is before flu season starts (in other words, now) and before people around you start becoming sick or ill.  The flu vaccine is safe, effective and can’t give you the flu. 

If you have questions about the flu or flu vaccine, please contact the Department of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at (617) 983-6800.  To find out where you can get flu vaccine, talk with your doctor or visit http://flu.masspro.org to find a flu clinic near you. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written By:

Recent Posts

Weekly Flu Report, March 24, 2017 posted on Mar 24

The latest weekly flu report shows that rates of flu-like illness increased slightly in the past seven days, following a drop in those rates during the previous week. Flu can be unpredictable, but the one thing we know for certain is that flu season isn’ t over   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 24, 2017

Slow and Steady Wins the Race! posted on Mar 20

Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

How to achieve your healthy lifestyle goals this National Nutrition Month! By Campbell Reiff It’s March, and you know what that means – spring is here!  March is not only the month for the change in seasons, but is also National Nutrition Month! This month, the   …Continue Reading Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

Weekly Flu Report, March 17, 2017 posted on Mar 17

Rates of flu-like illness rebounded slightly over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. Regardless of the swings from week to week, it’s important to note that we can expect to see flu continuing to circulate in our communities well into springtime.   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, March 17, 2017