Q&A: Asthma and H1N1

Q: Am I considered a high risk candidate for H1N1 flu infection if my asthma has been dormant for more than fourteen years?


A: I recommend that you ask your doctor or health care provider if you have a current diagnosis of asthma. If your doctor or health care provider considers you to have active asthma, you fall under the priority groups recommended for A (H1N1) vaccination by the CDC, which also include:


· Children and young adults aged 6 months to 24 years
· Adults aged 24 to 65 years who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma
· People who care for infants under 6 months of age
· Pregnant women
· Health care workers 


In order to provide optimal protection against influenza and its complications, it’s also important to get your seasonal flu shot, if you haven’t already done so. According to the CDC, immunization is especially important for those who are at high risk for developing serious complications from the flu, like hospitalization and death. These groups can be found on http://www.facesofinfluenza.org, and include:


· Anyone who wants to prevent influenza
· All children 6 months through 18 years of age
· People who are 50 years of age and older
· Pregnant women
· People with chronic medical conditions like asthma
· Residents of long-term care or nursing homes
· Anyone who comes in contact with high-risk groups – including health-care professionals, parents and caregivers

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