Are You at Risk for Flu Complications?

You may not think of the flu as a dangerous illness, but it can actually cause some serious complications. In fact, in the United States alone, more than 30,000 people die each year from flu complications, and another 200,000 people are hospitalized. Could the flu send you to the hospital or put your life in jeopardy? Here are some things that put you at risk of experiencing major complications from the flu.

young female having a cold

Age
The very young and the elderly have increased risks of dealing with  flu complications . For people over 65, the flu can be especially dangerous, causing complications like pneumonia. People in these age groups should seek treatment for the flu right away. Although antibiotics are not effective, there are antiviral medications that can help when taken soon after your symptoms begin.

Chronic Medical Conditions
The flu can exacerbate chronic medical conditions, causing symptoms related to those conditions as well as extreme side effects from the flu. For instance, people with diabetes may struggle to control their blood glucose levels when dealing with the flu, which can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. Because high blood glucose interferes with healing, flu symptoms make become worse, which in turn drives blood sugar up even higher. People with asthma, emphysema, HIV/AIDS, and other chronic conditions should carefully consider a flu shot and seek treatment when symptoms appear.

Pregnancy
Being pregnant can take a toll on your immune system, which leaves you more susceptible to flu infections and complications. These complications can be especially dangerous to your baby. Talk to your obstetrician about getting a flu shot and what to do if you get the flu while you are with child.

When you need urgent medical care for your flu symptoms, head to the  emergency room  at MountainView Hospital right away. With a heart hospital, stroke center, and much more on site, our Las Vegas hospital has the experts you need. To find out more, call (702) 233-5474 or visit our website.

 

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