Factors for flu complications

Jay FitzOur Town Health

These health and age factors that are known to increase a person’s risk of getting serious complications from the flu:

  • Asthma
  • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
  • Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis
  • Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
  • People who are obese with a body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
  • Kidney disorders
  • Liver disorders
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • Neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions
  • People younger than 19 years old and on long-term aspirin or salicylate-containing medications
  • People with a weakened immune system due to disease (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or some cancers such as leukemia) or medications (such as those receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer, or persons with chronic conditions requiring chronic corticosteroids or other drugs that suppress the immune system)

Other people at high risk from the flu: • Adults 65 years and older • Children younger than 2 years old • Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks after the end of pregnancy • American Indians and Alaska Natives • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities.

Although all children younger than 5 years old are considered at high risk for serious flu complications, the highest risk is for those younger than 2 years old, with the highest hospitalization and death rates among infants younger than 6 months old. It is especially important that these people get a flu vaccine every year and also seek medical treatment quickly if they get flu symptoms. Learn more about preventing seasonal flu here

Information provided by Tennessee Department of Public Health


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