Asthma warning ahead of flu season

Asthma sufferers are being encouraged to get a flu shot to prevent serious winter flare-ups.
Asthma sufferers are being encouraged to get a flu shot to prevent serious winter flare-ups.

Asthma sufferers are being encouraged to start taking flu fighting measures such as vaccination before the peak of winter.

Last year, referrals for asthma support peaked during the winter months, with 64 per cent listing colds and flu as a trigger for asthma, according to data released on Tuesday.

Asthma Australia strongly recommends sufferers get the flu jab as part of their winter action plan to avoid a potentially deadly flare-up.

"We know that respiratory viruses including the flu are one of the most common asthma triggers and can cause asthma flare-ups that require time off work, emergency treatment or hospitalisation," said Michele Goldman, CEO of Asthma Australia.

"If you have not already been immunised now is a great time to get the flu vaccine," said Ms Goldman.

It's also vital that people with asthma take their preventer medication every day, Ms Goldman said.

Asthma affects 1 in 9 Australians and kills around 400 people a year.

ASTHMA AUSTRALIA WINTER CHECKLIST

1. Visit doctor for an asthma review

2. Take Asthma Control Test

3. Take preventer medication every day when well

4. Check device technique

5. Get a written Asthma Action Plan

6. Consider an annual flu vaccination

Australian Associated Press