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Asthma Patients at Higher Risk From Respiratory Infections

Denver, CO —

Children with asthma are at higher risk of complications from enterovirus D68, the respiratory virus infecting children around the nation. National Jewish Health has seen a significant surge in urgent care visits and hospital admissions due to worsening asthma among children with respiratory infections. Respiratory infections commonly cause a surge in urgent care and hospitalizations for asthma soon after school begins, a phenomenon known as the 'September epidemic.'

Pia Hauk, MD, Clinical Director of Ambulatory Pediatrics at National Jewish Health, advises asthma patients:

  • Make sure you are taking your daily controller medications
  • Avoid becoming infected:
    • Wash hands frequently
    • Avoid touching your face with your hands
    • Stay away from people who are coughing or otherwise showing signs of respiratory infections
  • If you do develop a respiratory infection, follow your action plan and increase controller and rescue medications as needed. If you do not have an action plan, work with your doctor to develop one to help you manage your asthma.
  • If your asthma worsens, see a doctor earlier rather than later to avoid serious complications.

Dr. Hauk also advices any child who is acutely ill and has a fever NOT to go to school to keep from infecting other children.

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 125 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

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