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Persons with asthma are at higher risk for influenza-related complications, such as pneumonia.

Asthma Action Plan

All persons with asthma should have and use an updated, written Asthma Action Plan, developed with their healthcare professional, for daily treatment and for control of worsening asthma symptoms. The Asthma Action Plan should include what they should do at the earliest onset of symptoms of influenza-like illness. Children with asthma should have an Asthma Action Plan on file at their school or daycare center, and the plan and medication(s) should be readily accessible.

Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Anyone with asthma at least 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated for seasonal influenza with the injected trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV). Children aged 6 months through 8 years who never have had a seasonal flu shot will need two doses the first time. Persons with asthma should not use the inhaled "FluMist®" vaccine because of the increased risk of wheezing post-vaccination.

Antiviral Medications

If you are at high risk for complications of the flu, your healthcare provider might prescribe antiviral medications. Treatment with antiviral medication should be initiated as early as possible and should not wait for laboratory confirmation of influenza. A negative rapid test for influenza does not rule out influenza. The sensitivity of rapid tests can range from 10 percent to 70 percent. Information on the use of rapid influenza diagnostic tests (RIDTs) can be found on the

CDC's website.

Source of content on this page: http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/preventing_and_controlling.htm, accessed 10/2/09

Last UpdateJune 9, 2011