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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (September 10, 2020) – Those who suffer from asthma are among the most vulnerable to effects of the flu. This year, as COVID-19 continues to spread, it’s more important than ever that anyone with asthma get a flu shot to keep them healthy and out of the hospital.
“This year poses a double threat with COVID-19 alongside the regular seasonal flu,” says allergist J. Allen Meadows, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). Anyone with asthma has to be very careful to avoid getting the flu in the first place. If they do get the flu, they may need medical treatment to prevent serious illness or even death.”
The flu can cause increased inflammation for people who already struggle with swollen and sensitive airways. That can lead to pneumonia and other severe respiratory diseases and make asthma symptoms worse. Because flu symptoms and symptoms from COVID-19 can mirror one another, it is not unusual to see fever, severe body aches, fatigue, sore throat, and a dry cough with both. Says Dr. Meadows, “Asthma is the most common medical condition among children hospitalized with the flu and one of the more common medical conditions among hospitalized adults. Being hospitalized during a pandemic is something you want to prevent.”
Finally, ACAAI wants anyone with an egg allergy to know that no special precautions are needed to get the flu vaccine. Many people with egg allergy mistakenly believe they are not allowed to have the flu vaccine, or that they must get the vaccine in their allergist’s office. Because this vaccine contains only trace amounts of egg, it is safe for everyone, including those with egg allergy, and no special precautions are needed.