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Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot

Flu season is upon us, and while it is advisable for everyone to receive a flu vaccination, doing so is extremely important for those living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD causes inflammation in the lungs and can flare up from the presence of a flu infection. But while getting a flu shot lowers the odds of hospitalization by 38%, just 66% of patients who participated in a study conducted by Dr. Sunita Mulpuru, an associate scientist at Ottawa Hospital in Canada, were vaccinated. Antiviral medications that lessen the severity of the flu, such as Tamiflu and Relenza, were used just 69% of time in hospitals and weren’t given until patients were headed into the intensive care unit. That’s too late, Mulpuru said.

Part of the reason so few COPD sufferers get vaccinated is because they never have been diagnosed with the flu, so they don’t think they’ll ever get it. In other instances, people believe the flu isn’t any worse than a bad cold and will go away after a couple of weeks, when in fact it can be fatal.

The whole story can be found here.