Flu season again…
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
It is that time of year affectionately known as flu season. Why would a cardiologist write about the flu? Well, the greatest risk with influenza is in those individuals with chronic illnesses and the most common chronic illness in the adult over 55 is cardiovascular in nature.
While we have your attention, when you are in line to obtain your flu shot, inquire about the benefit to you as an individual of also obtaining a "pneumonia shot". This is a vaccine which provides protection against pneumococcal pneumonia, the most common type of pneumonia which you might acquire in the community in which you live.
There are many myths that exist about the potential dangers of these types of "shots" but the benefits far outweigh any risks, particularly if you have heart disease, a pulmonary issue or any other form of chronic illness.
By the way, yes, I got my flu shot last week, as I do every year… and my pneumonia shot was 2 years ago, as this particular vaccine is only needed every five years.
Francis G. Wolf, MD, FACC, is a Aurora BayCare cardiologist whose fulltime practice is in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. He also sees patients in Valders, Wisconsin. Dr. Wolf's special interests include congestive heart failure, coronary CT angiography, heart disease in women, risk factor and lifestyle modification, and heart disease in an aging population.