H1N1 AND PNEUMONIA
ANCHOR LEAD: Avoiding pneumonia following the flu may be as simple as a single immunization, Elizabeth Tracey reports
If the flu doesn’t kill you, pneumonia might. That’s a sobering lesson from many flu epidemics and pandemics in the past. Michelle Bellantoni, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, says people should consider additional immunizations.
BELLANTONI: All over 65 in this country should have a single pneumococcal vaccine and those who are young and have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, malignancies that require chemotherapy, or autoimmune conditions and the reason for that is secondary infection with this type of bacterial infection the other is reducing the amount of respiratory illness so that we can accurately diagnose those who do have H1N1. The second vaccine that’s very important is your standard influenza vaccine in reducing the burden of respiratory illness. :32
As always, if you become ill again when you appear to be recovering from the flu, seek medical attention immediately. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.