Children with asthma are more likely to develop pneumonia after getting sick with the flu than children who do not have asthma.
Parents of children with asthma are being urged to have them vaccinated against the flu as soon as possible.
Asthma is a disease of the airways, explains Dr Peter Anderson, president of the Queensland Asthma Foundation.
“It causes the airways to swell and become congested and people find it difficult to breathe so when they get the flu on top of that it makes it doubly serious and means they really struggle.”
Alarmingly, researchers found that a number of Australian parents did not have their kids vaccinated, claimed a Nine news report, despite the fact that this is one of the most effective forms of ensuring you do not contract the flu.
In 2016, the 0-5 age group had the second highest flu rate and children are more likely to contract influenza in any given season: 20-50% compared with 10-30% of adults.
The carers who responded to the survey were mainly people caring for children with asthma. They showed a high level of hospital attendance; 53% said the person they cared for attended an emergency department and 34% were admitted to hospital due to flu-exacerbated asthma.
However, 41% of carers stated that the person with asthma they cared for was not likely to be vaccinated against flu this year.
Everyone with asthma including all family members should be immunised against the flu.
The flu and other viral infections are the most common trigger for asthma flare-ups.
People with asthma who contract influenza are at higher risk of experiencing complications. These complications can include:
- more severe asthma flare-ups,
- pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infections,
- days lost from work and school,
- hospitalisation and even death.
Will your family be having the flu vaccine this year?
Share your comments below.