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Format: 04/19/2014
Format: 04/19/2014


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: New flu adds to the challenges of children with asthma

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

By Jill Daly

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The early arrival of seasonal flu vaccines -- to pave the way for the October release of the new H1N1 vaccine -- comes just in time for the fall checkups that are part of the health routine of children with asthma.

More children than normal are coming in to see asthma and allergy specialists, reported Dr. Deborah A. Gentile, director of the Allegheny General Hospital's Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

"This year we are very concerned about it [the new flu]," she said in an interview last week. "We are already starting to see an uptick already."

The fall allergy season is "a busy time," Dr. Gentile said. "We're in the midst of allergy season -- ragweed, mold. The temperatures change 30 degrees in a day. Temperature change triggers asthma. With the kids going back to school, respiratory viruses are going around -- in particular, the common cold."

And on top of all that, there are the extra flu concerns this year, she said, so it's time for asthma patients to see their doctors.

"Even if they're doing well, we want to see them to make sure they are doing well," she said. "Usually in October is when most of them get their immunizations. We're ready."

Dr. Gentile said the new H1N1 virus -- now the dominant flu in circulation -- makes the usual precautions more important.


To read more, visit the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette web site.

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