Insights on Influenza Blog
Protecting children, families, and communities against influenza.
Insights on Influenza
  • Flu Prevention

Asthma Month: Influenza and Asthma

Posted on May 18, 2020

May is Asthma Awareness Month! Do you know the link between influenza and asthma? Below, find out how you can help improve flu outcomes for people with asthma.


What is asthma?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 25 million people in the United States live with asthma. People diagnosed with asthma experience wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and/or coughing at night or early in the morning. Asthma can affect both children and adults and can be diagnosed at any age. 


What happens if I have asthma and get sick with flu?

Flu and asthma are both respiratory conditions that affect an individual’s lungs. People with asthma are at greater risk of experiencing flu-related complications because their airways are already compromised, so the inflammation caused by flu symptoms can make their asthma worse. They could experience:

  • asthma attacks or a worsening of their lung disease
  • progressive loss of lung function
  • complications such as pneumonia and other respiratory diseases
  • hospitalization

How asthma can lead to flu hospitalizations: Nate Gorensteins story 

Nate was a happy 4-year-old who had asthma. When he caught H1N1 flu in 2009, his asthma exacerbated his flu illness. What started out as just a cough flared up and quickly grew worse. His pediatrician sent him to the hospital and he was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Within five minutes of arriving to the PICU, he stopped breathing and needed to be put on a ventilator. Thankfully, after 12 days in the PICU, Nates condition improved and he was able to return home. 

Read more about Nates flu and asthma experience here.

 

How can I prevent flu complications from asthma?

The best way to prevent flu complications in all individuals, including people with asthma, is to receive an annual flu vaccine. Experts recommend that people with asthma should receive the injectable flu vaccine (flu shot) rather than the nasal spray. Because the nasal spray is a mist that’s sprayed into an individual’s nostrils, the vaccine could trigger asthma symptoms like wheezing. People with asthma should also ensure that their loved ones also receive an annual flu vaccine to help stop the spread of flu amongst their close contacts. 

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/faqs.htm

https://www.familiesfightingflu.org/flu-vaccines-people-with-certain-health-conditions/)

Share this article:

You might also be interested in...

Influenza Vaccines for People with Egg Allergies
post it reading turn knowledge into action
How Immunization Advocates Can Take Action to Fight Flu
flu outcomes pyramid
The Basics of Flu Prevention

Contact Us

Families Fighting Flu
4201 Wilson Blvd., #110-702
Arlington, VA 22203

(703) 203-4335
1-888-2ENDFLU (1-888-236-3358)

contact@familiesfightingflu.org

Stay Informed
Sign up for our Weekly Flu News and quarterly newsletter, Fighting Influenza, to stay up-to-date on the latest flu news.
Newsletter

LOGO LICENSE AGREEMENT

You are required to accept all of the terms and conditions in this License Agreement in order to receive a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FAMILIES FIGHTING FLU, INC. logo, displayed below (the “FFF Logo”), from Families Fighting Flu, Inc. (“FFF”). In order to accept these terms and conditions, you must click the “I Accept” button below.

  1. FFF hereby grants to you, and you accept, a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-assignable, royalty-free license to use the FFF Logo, which you may download and use solely in online and print earned media publications for a period of no more than six (6) months in the United States.
  2. You acknowledge that the FFF Logo is a valid trademark; that FFF is the sole owner of the FFF Logo; and that FFF retains all right, title, and interest in and to the FFF Logo. You agree that any and all use that you make of the FFF Logo, and any and all goodwill arising from your use of the FFF Logo, shall inure exclusively to the benefit of FFF.  You also agree that you shall not challenge the validity of the FFF Logo or FFF’s ownership or title thereto during the term of the License Agreement or thereafter.
  3. You agree that you shall use the FFF Logo only in the form shown above, and that you shall not alter, modify, change, or edit the FFF Logo in any manner.
  4. You acknowledge the valuable goodwill and reputation in the FFF Logo, and that it is essential that the high standards and reputation associated with the FFF Logo be maintained. You therefore agree to use the FFF Logo consistent with the highest standards of quality so as to protect and maintain the FFF Logo and FFF’s rights therein.
  5. FFF shall have the right to review and inspect your use of the FFF Logo at any time. FFF, in its sole discretion, may determine that you are not using the FFF Logo in an acceptable manner and require that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo.  To the extent that FFF requires that you discontinue your use of the FFF Logo, you agree that you shall remove the FFF Logo from all online and print earned media publications as soon as practicable under the circumstances, and that you shall not use the FFF at any time in the future.
  6. You must include the following notice in connection with any use of the FFF Logo: “The Families Fighting Flu, Inc. logo is the registered trademark of Families Fighting Flu, Inc.”
I Accept