Influenza in asthmatic patients

People with lung conditions such as asthma have swollen airways and a build-up of fluid in the lungs, because of this influenza can cause further inflammation of the airways and lungs. When these patients get infected with a viral infection such as influenza, bacteria and viruses penetrate deep into the lungs and multiply more easily, making it more likely for other infections, such as pneumonia, to develop

    1. CDC, Flu & People with Asthma, available at, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/asthma.htm#:~:text=People%20with%20asthma%20can%20develop, and%20other%20acute%20respiratory%20diseases, accessed on 8th NOV 2020.

Influenza and the immune system

  • People with asthma have swollen airways. Because of this, influenza can cause further inflammation of the airways and lungs.1
  • Those with lung conditions, such as asthma, have a build-up of fluid in the lungs. When a viral infection occurs, such as influenza, bacteria and viruses penetrate deep into the lungs and multiply more easily, making it more likely for other infections, such as pneumonia, to develop.1

Asthmatic patients are at a greater risk of hospitalization due to influenza

No matter whether the symptoms are well-controlled by medication or not, people with asthma are far more likely to suffer from influenza complications such as,2

  • Asthma attacks
  • Pneumonia
  • Worsening asthma
  • Other acute respiratory diseases symptoms

Individuals with asthma are two times more likely to be hospitalized with influenza. Patients hospitalized for acute respiratory infection are two times more likely to develop pneumonia3

    1. Website, CDC , Flu & People with Asthma, available at, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/asthma.htm. Accessed 10th Nov 2020
    2. Nichol KL, Baken L, Nelson A. Relation between influenza vaccination and outpatient visits, hospitalization, and mortality in elderly persons with chronic lung disease. Ann Intern Med.1999 Mar 2;130(5):397-403
    3. Eric A. et al, Acute Respiratory Infections in Children, Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, chapter 25.

Benefits of vaccination for chronic respiratory patients¹

Reduced hospitalization and risk of death²

    1. Wesseling G. Occasional review: influenza in COPD: pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2007;2(1):5-10. Review.
    2. Nichol KL, Baken L, Nelson A. Relation between influenza vaccination and outpatient visits, hospitalization, and mortality in elderly persons with chronic lung disease. Ann Intern Med.1999 Mar 2;130(5):397-403.

Chronic conditions that can be exacerbated by influenza

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