How to Be Prepared for Flu Season 2014
If you are diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis or pulmonary fibrosis you probably already know that a yearly flu shot is essential no matter how prepared you feel. If you are hearing, or are using, the same tired excuse between sneezes, “It’s just the flu…it will pass,” you need to get serious. Flu season 2014 has been especially deadly.
“We still have pretty high activity in most parts of the country; 41 states are reporting widespread flu,” said Michael Jhung, a flu expert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Flu season is at its peak, but that doesn’t mean you’re safe yet!
States including Minnesota, Kansas, Montana, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico and Oregon are reporting high levels of flu frequency and the rest of the country isn’t far behind.
“I think a lot of people forget how serious flu can be until they’re reminded of some severe outcomes in people they know,” Jhung said.
If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, we urge you to get one as soon as possible. Don’t fall victim to flu season 2014. With flu shots available at most large pharmacies across the country, there really isn’t any excuse to not get protected. Flu shots are 70 to 90 percent effective and can save your life.
Influenza has serious ramifications in people with respiratory diseases that can result in the worsening of your condition—or even death. When you have COPD or pulmonary fibrosis and you contract the flu, your symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath become severe. Often, people with respiratory diseases that contract the flu need to be hospitalized.
Safety Measures for the Flu Season
If you haven’t gotten the flu shot yet, make sure to follow these simple safety measures for flu season 2014:
- Avoid crowds
- Wash your hands frequently
- Carry hand sanitizer
- If you see someone coughing or sneezing politely steer clear
All of the techniques listed above will help you avoid the flu but it is not a guarantee that you won’t contract it. Get your shot!
If you do get sick, do not hesitate in receiving medical care. Call your doctor immediately. If you get anti-viral medications 48 hours after contracting the virus you will have a higher success rate. Also, speak with your doctor about how taking anti-viral medications might interfere with your current COPD or pulmonary fibrosis medications. Most importantly, stay safe and use good judgment!
A recent study found that continuous use of an incentive spirometer can improve the quality of life for patients with #COPD.
Using an incentive spirometer exercises your lungs and keeps your alveoli inflated. #COPD