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Got Asthma? Get Your Flu Shots!

Resources for Asthma Patients, Parents of Patients, and Healthcare Professionals

Influenza, commonly called "the flu," is caused by the influenza virus, which infects the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs). People with asthma are more likely to have serious health problems from getting the flu, yet most people with asthma don’t receive a flu shot every year.

This spring, a new influenza virus began causing illness in people and spreading around the world. Originally called “swine flu” because the virus genes were similar to some influenza viruses that infect pigs, the new virus has been named “novel H1N1.” Find out more about novel H1N1 and CDC’s public health response.

Resources for Asthma Patients and Parents of Patients:

If you have asthma, you need to take steps to prevent getting the flu. Respiratory infections such as the flu can affect your lungs, causing an asthma attack. Flu vaccine is the first and most important step you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu.

Resources for Healthcare Professionals:

People with asthma are at high risk of developing complications after contracting the influenza virus, yet most people with asthma do not receive an annual flu vaccination. Children and adults with asthma should receive influenza vaccinations.

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Data & Surveillance

Percents by Age, Sex, and Race, United States, 2012. Age: Child = 9.3%, Adult =  8.0%, Sex: Male = 7.0%, Female =  9.5%, Race/Ethnicity: White =  8.1%, Black =  11.9%, Hispanic =  7%. Source: National Health Interview Survey, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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  • Page last reviewed: September 24, 2009
  • Page last updated: September 16, 2011
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO