According to research from University of Southampton (UK) asthma patients who contract the flu are likely to have worse symptoms due to their weaker immune systems.

“We wanted to look into whether immune system differences explain why asthmatics are more likely to end up in hospital if they get flu than the general population, this is important, as flu can cause a person’s asthma symptoms to get worse,” said Dr Ben Nicholas, of the University of Southampton

Researchers assessed lung samples from asthmatics and healthy volunteers. The samples were exposed to influenza and their reactions analyzed.

According to researchers, samples from healthy people showed a strong immune system-triggering reaction to the flu virus. But in lung samples from asthma patients, this reaction was much weaker.