Allergic to Eggs? You Can Safety Get the Flu Shot—and Other Life-Threatening Allergy and Asthma Myths
Nov 7, 2014, 12:00 PM
Major medical conferences often showcase a study, perhaps two, that can change the field of practice and the health for thousands to millions. At this year’s annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, four studies made such an impact that the College created an infographic to better help share the findings:
- Many—perhaps even most—people who think they’re allergic to penicillin really aren’t. And taking alternative antibiotics can cost more, be less effective and bring side effects.
- A study in Chicago found that stocking epinephrine pens in public schools saved lives for more than a dozen kids who had potentially fatal allergic reactions, but who hadn’t been told to carry their own pen. The researchers say the lesson learned is that more schools and other public spaces need to keep supplies of the low-cost devices on hand.
- Many doctors don’t keep up with the most recent allergy information—which means their patients may not be getting the most effective treatment. For example, 85 percent of internists polled think an egg allergy is a contraindication for the flu shot. Evidence shows the shot to be safe for people with an egg allergy.
- Some YouTube asthma videos promote incorrect and dangerous alternative treatments for asthma that pose a risk of death if used rather than treatment based on clinical trials and scientific evidence.
This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.