Are you currently living with asthma? You’re not alone. Nearly 25 million people in the United States have asthma, a chronic lung disease that causes swelling, inflammation, and mucus in the lungs making it harder for a person to breathe.
Unfortunately, studies have found that people with asthma are at a greater risk of contracting pertussis, also known as whooping cough. And if they do, they may develop more severe symptoms of this disease including pneumonia, weight loss and rib fracture.
Pertussis is a very contagious bacterial infection that causes similar respiratory symptoms as a common cold, including runny nose, fever, and violent coughing. The disease usually spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes or when they spend a lot of time near others sharing the same breathing space.
So, what’s the best way to protect yourself from pertussis if you have asthma? The most effective way is to get the appropriate pertussis vaccination for your age. You may have received the pertussis vaccination as a child, teen or adult. But like most vaccines, immunity wanes over time and a booster is eventually needed.
If you can’t remember the last time you received a pertussis vaccination, you should talk to your doctor about getting one soon. The CDC recommends that all adults get a pertussis booster every 10 years.
You can also reduce your risk of contracting the disease by washing your hands frequently, staying home if you’re sick, and avoiding other people who are sick.
Another way to protect yourself is to stick with your asthma treatment plan. When your asthma is well controlled, it will help reduce your risk of complications if you do get a respiratory illness like whooping cough. And if you think that you could have pertussis, call your doctor right away.
This article is brought to you by Sanofi.