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Got asthma? Get a flu shot

Asthma is a risk factor for serious complications from the flu. Protect yourself by getting vaccinated.

If you have asthma, it's especially important to get the flu vaccine each fall, according to guidelines from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Thoracic Society.

The flu usually peaks in January and February, but it can start as early as October. So it's best to get immunized as soon as vaccine becomes available, to give the body time to build up immunity to the virus. Call your doctor for information about scheduling a shot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, groups at high risk for serious complications from the flu include:

  • Adults age 65 or older.
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People who have chronic diseases such as asthma, lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes or AIDS.
  • People younger than 19 years who are on long-term aspirin therapy.
  • People who are morbidly obese (those with body mass index of 40 or greater).

The flu can cause fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, fatigue and cough. It can also increase the risk of pneumonia.

For more information on vaccination against the seasonal flu, talk with your healthcare provider.

reviewed 7/17/2019

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