The flu, or influenza to use the medical name, is a seasonal illness that many people in the United States deal with every year. While this illness negatively affects everyone, people with chronic lung conditions may be at greater risk if they catch the flu.
Two tips for avoiding the flu when you have a chronic lung disease
Statistically, February is the month when people seem to get whatever form of flu is going around. A study of flu trends from 1982 to 2018 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed this by showing that February was the top flu month for 15 of the 36 flu seasons included in the study. One thing this data shows is February is a month that can be very problematic for people with chronic lung conditions.
When you have a chronic lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD), getting the flu can be a more serious issue than it is for other people. For one thing, the flu often causes symptoms that can lead to lung conditions like bronchitis or pneumonia. These conditions and flu symptoms can, in turn, cause your chronic lung disease to worsen, which may lead to an extended stay in the hospital. To avoid the flu and the secondary infections it may cause, there are two tips that may help you.
The first flu avoidance tip you should consider is getting a flu shot. Yearly flu shots have been available for years now, and this preventive measure can be helpful when it comes to avoiding the flu. Flu shots are also an effective option because they’re typically covered by health insurance, which means you won’t have to worry about adding another out-of-pocket expense to your monthly budget.
A second tip that may help you avoid the flu is to keep the area around you clean. The flu virus can land on almost any hard surface, and it’ll still be there for you to pick up if you don’t keep the surfaces around you clean. Surfaces you may want to pay attention to are things like:
- Work desks
- Dining room tables
- Chair backs and arms
- Television remotes
- Phone handsets
These and other hard surfaces can be kept flu virus-free with a variety of antibacterial and antiviral wipes and cleaners available from your local grocery store.
The Lung Health Institute wants to help chronic lung disease patients avoid the flu
Our health care team at the Lung Health Institute knows the flu may be more dangerous for lung disease patients. In addition to tips about how to avoid the flu, we have services that may help you strengthen your body against the flu. Our Anti-Inflammatory Initiative™ plans, for instance, are designed to help you boost your gut health, which may also help to strengthen your immune system against the flu.
Contact one of our patient coordinators today for more information or to schedule a free consultation.