Mesothelioma, also known as malignant mesothelioma, refers to an aggressive form of cancer that forms on the thin protective tissues that covers the abdomen and lungs, mainly caused by exposure to asbestos. People with weakened immune systems that are suffering from mesothelioma or other cancerous diseases are at a higher risk of complications from influenza. Medical professionals do advise patients that have cancer or might have had it in the past, to take precautions against the flu by getting seasonal flu shots.
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory disease caused by the influenza viruses that infects the nose, lungs, and throat. This often results in mild or severe illness and sometimes leads to death.
Risk of influenza with mesothelioma
Finding a heath care provider can be a difficult task after discovering that you have mesothelioma and the risk of the common flu is hazardous to anyone. Influenza is highly contagious and can be easily spread through coughing, talking, sneezing, or touching surfaces with expelled secretions from an infected person.
Due to the nature of mesothelioma, as it affects the abdomen and lungs, coming into contact with influenza might lead to additional medical complications which can expedite deterioration of the health of the individual.
Common influenza symptoms associated with; high grade fever, severe eye pain, severe coughing, extreme fatigue, sore throat, severe migraine, frequent sneezing, runny or stuffed nose, and severe muscle pain.
How to Prevent Influenza
Vaccination: for patients with mesothelioma, one important way to prevent influenza is by getting the flu vaccination. A patient with mesothelioma should skip the general nasal spray and instead opt in to receive the inactivated flu shot. As a matter of fact, this is the first line of defense, and is the best way to respond to the flu. As an added precaution, it is advised that the mesothelioma patient, their caregivers, their family and all those who usually have close contact with the patient get the vaccine as well due to the contagious nature of the flu.
Avoid public or crowded places: Influenza is seasonal and usually prevalent in January and February in the U.S. It is advised that during this period of time individuals suffering from mesothelioma should avoid crowded places and public places to reduce the likelihood of coming into contact with the influenza virus.