If you have a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, asthma, or diabetes, it's important to call your doctor when the first flu symptoms occur.
Each year in the U.S., about 3,000 to 49,000 people die from causes related to influenza (flu) and over 200,000 are hospitalized due to complications from flu. These complications can include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. When kids with asthma or diabetes get flu, they are at a much higher risk for serious complications such as pneumonia.
Person to Person
The main way that influenza viruses are thought to spread is from person to
person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. (This is called "droplet
spread.") This can happen when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected
person are propelled through the air and deposited on the mouth or nose of
people nearby. Influenza viruses may also be spread when a person touches
respiratory droplets on another person or an object and then touches their own
mouth or nose (or...
How is COPD -- emphysema and chronic bronchitis -- worsened by flu?
Emphysema and chronic bronchitis, known together as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), affect over 12 million adults in the U.S. Both conditions are marked by obstruction to airflow that interferes with breathing. Like asthma or any lung disease, COPD is worsened by the flu. If you have COPD, it's important to learn what you can do to avoid respiratory problems.
Flu and lung infections pose greater dangers for people with heart disease. Lung infections prevent people from taking in oxygen as efficiently as they should. This makes the heart work harder to pump oxygen-rich blood through the body. This extra work can be dangerous for people with heart disease.