Health department offers info on winter and asthma

stethescope-mf-drummerboy-webThe following information about asthma and the flu season is from the Kenosha County Health Department:

During the winter season people are exposed to many respiratory viruses including influenza (flu). Respiratory viruses can be a trigger for someone with asthma. If a person with asthma gets the flu they are at an increased risk for a severe asthma attack and serious complications. Also, children with asthma are experiencing more severe symptoms from this year’s strain of enterovirus (EV-D68). EV-D68 is a respiratory illness sharing symptoms with the common cold. Cynthia Johnson, Health Officer/Director with the Kenosha County Division of Health, reports, “Getting your influenza vaccine is extremely important for people with asthma and reduces health risks.” It is essential that people with asthma continue taking their prescribed medications, follow their action plans and receive the flu vaccination. If you have asthma, you should: • Update and follow your written asthma action plan developed with your doctor. If your child has asthma, make sure the plan is on file at school or in a child care facility. Be sure the plan and medications are easy to access when needed. Wisconsin law allows children with asthma to carry and self-administer their medication at school, with the appropriate permission forms signed and on file with • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based gel hand cleaners also are good to use as a back-up. • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough into your sleeve, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. • If you encounter flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, night sweats, fatigue and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting, call your doctor immediately and stay home from school or work.

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