The flu can be dangerous for anyone, but those with asthma need to take extra precautions to avoid the flu and prevent problems. Being proactive during flu season is not just important; it’s a must if you have asthma.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has advice for fighting the flu if you have asthma.
1. Get the flu shot every fall. Flu season begins in the fall and goes through the spring. Get the actual shot, not the nasal spray vaccine. The nasal spray vaccine can trigger asthma symptoms.
2. Make it a family affair. Have family members without asthma get the flu shot to protect those that do have asthma.
3. Prevent exposure. The flu can be very contagious. Properly wash your hands often and don’t share food or utensils. If possible, avoid people who are sick.
4. Talk to your health care provider about updating your asthma action plan so that you know what to do if you get sick.
5. If you get sick with flu symptoms, call your doctor immediately. Symptoms can include fever (usually high), headache, extreme fatigue, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose and body aches. People with asthma can quickly become sicker with the flu. Your doctor may recommend treatment with an antiviral medicine or they may recommend a change to your normal asthma treatment.
- Rapid breathing or trouble breathing
- Blue skin color
- Chest or abdomen pain
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe vomiting
Egg Allergy and the Flu
The medical community agrees that there is no longer any reason to avoid the flu shot if you have an egg allergy. The flu shot is safe for everyone with an egg allergy, even if you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to eggs.
Originally published November 2016, updated August 2017
Medical Review December 2016.