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Asthma & the Flu
Having asthma does not increase your risk of getting the flu. It does, however, increase your risk of flu-related complications.
- Asthma is the most common health condition among children and adults hospitalized with the flu.
- Get the flu vaccine. It is your best protection against the flu.
- If you have asthma you should get the flu shot, not the nasal spray.
- If you have flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately.
Why does having asthma put me at higher risk for getting the flu?
Having asthma does not put you at an increased risk for getting the flu. It does, however, put you at an increased risk of complications from the flu virus. Asthma is the most common medical condition among children and adults hospitalized with the flu.
Asthma causes your airways to swell and increases their sensitivity. The flu virus can increase the inflammation of your airways and lungs. This can lead to pneumonia and other acute respiratory diseases.
How can I protect myself from getting the flu?
Getting the flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the flu. The nasal spray vaccine is not safe for people with asthma. You should get a flu shot.
Because you are at an increased risk of getting pneumonia, talk to your health care provider about the pneumococcal vaccine. The pneumococcal vaccine will protect you against pneumonia. In addition to vaccination, follow our everyday steps to keep yourself healthy this flu season.
I think I have the flu. What should I do?
If you have any flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider immediately. If you have the flu your health care provider can prescribe antiviral medications that can make your symptoms less severe and make you feel better faster. In addition, follow our treatment recommendations.