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The Health Chronicle newsletter is part of HAP’s overall program to help members improve their health by ofering practical suggestions for living with chronic conditions. To provide suggestions on improving our programs, e-mail us at HAPsHealthTrack@hap.org or call HAP’s HealthTrack Program toll-free at (800) 288-2902. The information in this publication does not change or replace the information in your HAP Subscriber Contract, Group Health Insurance Policy, Riders or Handbooks and does not necessarily refect the policies or opinions of HAP, its ofcers or board of directors. The information is for general educational purposes and is not a substitution for the advice of your doctor. You should consult your HAP personal care physician for your health care needs. HAP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex or mental or physical disability in its employment practices or in the provision of health care services.
It’s Flu Shot Season Again: What’s New
Coping with the fu is never easy. But when you have asthma, there’s even a bigger chance that the fu could cause serious problems. For example, it might lead to pneumonia.
Getting a fu shot is the best way to guard against the fu. This year, the fu shot protects against 2009 H1N1 and two strains of seasonal fu. To lower your risk for fu-related health problems, take these three easy steps:
1. Reduce the spread of germs. Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. And minimize your contact with people who are sick.
2. Seek medical care, if needed. If you do catch the fu, antiviral medications might help. But you have to act quickly – these medications work best within two days of getting sick.
3. Avoid contact with others if you have the fu.
Do you also need a pneumococcal vaccine this year? Our Nurse Health Coaches can help you fnd out. To speak with one, call (800) 288-2902, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Holiday Gathering Without the Wheezing
Animals can make you itchy, wheezy and stufy, and they can even cause an asthma attack. If you are traveling to be with loved ones for the holidays, stay at pet-free homes or hotels. If that’s not possible:
●● Talk with your doctor before you go. You may be able to take special maintenance medications to reduce your reaction. Allergy shots, which build up your immunity to allergens over time, also could help.
●● Request a room of your own.
Choose a sleeping room with a door, and keep animal friends out.
●● Bring your own hypoallergenic sheets and pillowcases. They keep dander from collecting. Wash them in hot water during and after your stay.
●● Have a hands-of pet policy. Fur doesn’t cause breathing problems. People with asthma react to proteins in pets’ dander, saliva and urine. If you do touch the animal, wash your hands right away.
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