Chronic Lung Disease: Protection against lung infections


Chronic lung diseases include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. They also include pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis, and other conditions. If you have chronic lung disease, it is very important to protect against respiratory infections such as colds, flu and lung infections. Infections can make your lungs worse. You can’t completely avoid them, but there are things you can do to reduce the chance of infection.

A doctor getting ready to inject into the arm of a woman sitting in a chair.

Follow recommendations
By following these recommendations, you can avoid infection:

  • Remember to keep your hands off your nose and mouth. Germs on your hands get into your respiratory system this way.
  • Wash your hands often. When washing your hands:
    • Use soap and warm water.
    • Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds.
    • Make sure to rinse them well.
    • Dry your hands with a clean towel or air.
  • If you are unable to wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains alcohol. Use disinfectant after touching, for example, door handles, handles, and a shopping cart, as many people affect them. Then wash your hands as soon as possible.

To help protect yourself from the flu, get the flu vaccine once a year. Vaccinations are done at your clinic, pharmacy or workplace. Get vaccinated as soon as vaccines are available in your area. This usually takes place around September each year.


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