This time of year can be difficult for individuals living with COPD; especially with the added challenge of seasonal influenza.
Currently, the U.S. has three “flu or flulike epidemics”—according to the New York Times. Below, you will see a graphic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that shows geographic spread of the flu.
From the article:
“[It’s] an early start to the annual flu season with an unusually aggressive virus, a surge in a new type of norovirus, and the worst whooping cough outbreak in 60 years. And these are all developing amid the normal winter highs for the many viruses that cause symptoms on the “colds and flu” spectrum.”
Having COPD and the flu can be a serious situation. Here are a few tips on how to avoid getting sick this winter season.
- Take your medicines as prescribed – make sure you’re taking inhaled medications correctly by showing a respiratory therapist your technique.
- Avoid irritants, especially second hand smoke or chemicals or dust.
- Remain as active as your condition will safely allow.
- Avoid exposure to people who are sick and avoid going to areas where large numbers of people are assembled.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap, especially after exposure to illness. Also consider wearing a mask when out, especially during flu season. If you have to go grocery shopping, wipe down the handles of your cart with anti-bacterial soap.
- Make sure all of you vaccinations are up-to-date including your yearly flu vaccine.
Click here for more information about the flu and COPD.