MILWAUKEE – According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 67% of children who died with the new H1N1 flu virus had at least one high-risk medical condition.
Any individual with an underlying respiratory condition such as asthma is more likely to experience serious health problems if he or she contracts the flu, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI.org).
“As with seasonal influenza, people with chronic respiratory diseases such as COPD and asthma are more vulnerable to the adverse consequences of H1N1 infection. Recent data suggest that children with asthma are especially at risk and should heed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations regarding vaccination and treatment options,” said AAAAI.org Executive Vice President Thomas B. Casale, MD, FAAAAI.
Is it flu or is it allergies?
For parents of children with asthma or allergies, telling the difference between these allergic disease symptoms and the seasonal flu or H1N1 may be a bit difficult. “Itchy eyes, a scratchy nose or sneezing are symptoms of allergies,” Casale suggests. “But if your child suffers from asthma and develops a fever or nausea and vomiting, consult your physician.”
Food allergies and the vaccines
Vaccinations for both the seasonal flu and H1N1 are among the best prevention tools available to prevent complications from the flu, especially for individuals with chronic conditions such as asthma. But what if you are allergic to a substance in the vaccines?
“Individuals with egg allergy may be at risk for an allergic reaction to H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccines due to the egg content in the vaccine preparations. Before getting vaccinated, review the information posted onAAAAI.org and consult with your health care provider. In most cases, vaccination can be tolerated if done according to these recommendations,” reports Casale.