Health

NFID Survey Finds Flu To Act Severely In Patients With Chronic Health Conditions

Flu is a common health problem but sometimes it can be worse for patients of chronic diseases. These complications somehow can be prevented by receiving annual influenza vaccination. A recent survey conducted by the National Foundation for Infectious Disease (NFID) studies 1002 adults from the U.S. and finds that only one in every four individuals got his flu vaccination. 

National Foundation for Infectious Disease is a nonprofit organization operational since 1973. Its goal is to educate the public and health care professionals about the danger, causes, risk factors, prevention, treatment and diagnosis of different diseases.

NFID is working with the support of National Influenza Vaccination Week that is from Dec 1 to 7 2019 To raise awareness about the serious complications of flu in the adult with chronic disease. It also encourages individuals who are at risk to get a vaccination for lowering the danger. The campaign “Lower Your Flu Risk” conducted by NFID includes public service infographics and announcements.

According to an estimation, 31 percent of individuals who have age 50-64 years and 47% of the individuals have age 65 years and older than this must suffer from at least one chronic disease and have serious health complications so there is a great risk of getting flu in that individuals. The risk is even greater after the proper management and medications with a controlled lifestyle.

Approximately 93% of the adults from the U.S. during the flu season 2018-2019 were hospitalized due to flu and had medical complications. Cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and chronic lung disease were reported as the most common complications.

According to William Schaffner, the director of NFID Medical that influenza is the sign of beginning a serious problem in the patients who suffer from chronic disease. If it is not noticing or treated well before the time it will result in inflammation that may last for many weeks after getting an acute infection. This inflammation can cause serious problems in the patient which ultimately resulted in heart attack and stroke.

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Flu can aggravate the conditions in patients of chronic diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, and lung diseases. Heart patients are six times more at risk of having a heart attack within seven days after getting the flu infections.  The rate of pneumonia increases in asthma patients due to the flu. Also, the patient with diabetes, if suffer from flu it can interfere with the blood glucose level making disturbing their management, which leads to complications and even death.

Patients with chronic diseases shown better results after the annual vaccination. It reduces the progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It also decreases the number of patients in the hospital and death rate related to heart disease and diabetes. A study showed through flu vaccination the risk of CVDs events in the patients having a heart attack last year reduces by 53%.

According to Dr. Schaffner, annual flu vaccination is as important as exercise, a balanced diet, smoking cessation and medication in the management of chronic disease.

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According to the survey it was found that usually most of the individuals in the U.S. are not aware that if they are facing a chronic disease, they are at greater risk of getting the flu infections. This unawareness leads to the low percentage of patients who go for vaccination i.e. 40% of adults during the 2018-2019 flu season. As a result, they are more prone to heart attacks and stroke-like conditions. So, 2018 NFID addresses this issue by acting through developing an improved flu vaccination. To support this goal more than 20 national organizations signed an agreement with NFID to increase awareness about the danger of flu in adult patients with chronic health complications.

About the author

Areeba Hussain

Graduated in Medical Microbiology, Areeba is working as a full-time medical writer for the last few years. She enjoys summarizing the latest researches into readable news to convey the recent advancements in medicine and human health.

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