Asthma and Swine Flu: Information regarding swine flu in asthma patients. People with asthma and swine flu increases risk of severe illness and serious complications.
In people with asthma influenza - seasonal flu or H1N1 flu increases the risk of severe illness and serious complications. Asthma increases the risk of hospitalization as well, in patients with seasonal flu or H1N1 flu. Seasonal flu or H1N1 flu can worsen chronic health problems such as asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease.
If you are an asthmatic patient take the following steps to protect yourself from the flu:
- Consult your doctor to make an Asthma Action Plan and follow it
- People with asthma aged 6 months to 64 years of age should be vaccinated with H1N1 flu vaccine.
- People with asthma > 6 months old should receive the seasonal flu vaccine
- Consult your doctor to discuss regarding-- what should you do if you get a flu-like illness.
Consult your doctor immediately if you or your child with asthma, develop symptoms of flu like illness. Antiviral drugs for treatment of H1N1 flu should be used promptly in people with asthma as they at higher risk of developing severe illness and serious complications of H1N1 flu (such as pneumonia, and even die from H1N1 flu). Antiviral drugs work the best when started promptly within 48 hours of the start of symptoms.
Everyday steps to protect yourself and others: Follow the following steps regularly to protect your and your family’s health:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. This is one of the best way to prevent many common infections. If soap and water is not available use an alcohol-based hand gel to clean hands.
- Clean all surfaces (such as door handles, remote control, hand rails, table, counter tops, and computer keyboards) often to remove the germs.
- Use tissues to cover mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. Dispose the used tissue in trash as soon as possible.
- Remember not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth as infection spreads this way.
- Ensure that your children follow these advices.
If you have flu like illness --to avoid spreading the infection stay at home from work or school and limit contact with others. Stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever resolves (i.e there are no signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications).
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