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Asthma

Asthma and Pneumonia

10/18/2006

Question:

I am a 34 yr old male. I grew up with Asthma. I took alot of meds for allergies and asthma growing up. I also had pneumonia a few times as an adolescent. In 1998-99 I had a few bouts with Pneumonia again. My Asthma isn`t as much of a problem now unless I come into contact with something I`m allergic to. I use a ventolin inhaler and becloforte inhaler. I am a missionary in Europe. Last November(2005)I was hospitalized with pneumonia and pleurisy. They had to stick a tube in and drain out the fluid and there was an abcess also. My question is how easy or possible is it get this again. Winter is coming and I guess I am a little fearful. I also found out that I have Hep C while I was in the hospital. Can this play a part in my body not being able to fight of the pneumonia. Sorry if these questions are stupid but I am just going by what I have been told. Please correct me. I am supposed to be starting the Interferon treatment. Will this effect my immune system or make it better.

Answer:

Patients with underlying asthma should try to avoid community-acquired pneumonia by being immunized with Pneumococcal Vaccine. This may have to be renewed every 5 years. Because you have had recurrent pneumonia, you should also be evaluated for possible immunodeficiency by your physician or specialist. If hepatitis C progresses, your susceptibility could also be affected. Therefore it is imperative that you start interferon therapy as soon as possible.

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Response by:

I Leonard Bernstein, MD I Leonard Bernstein, MD
Clinical Professor Emeritus
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati