Who Is at the Highest Risk for Seasonal Flu Complications?

Influenza isn’t just a seasonal nuisance. For some people, it can result in severe symptoms and complications. Countless people arrive at the emergency room each flu season because of complications such as dehydration, pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections. The emergency room physicians of Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center encourage residents of the Thousand Oaks area to consider getting an annual flu shot. Flu vaccinations are particularly important for individuals who are at a higher risk of ending up in the hospital because of flu complications.

Seniors

If you’re ages 65 years or older, you’re considered to be at a high risk of flu complications. This is because the immune system tends to become weaker as people grow older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seniors comprise 50 to 70 percent of flu-related hospitalizations each year and about 80 to 90 percent of flu-related deaths. To protect your health, consider talking to a doctor about the flu shot.

Children

Parents may wish to speak with a pediatrician about vaccinating themselves and their children. The flu virus is much more dangerous for children, making them more likely to require hospitalization. Children under the age of five are highly susceptible to flu complications and children under two are even more vulnerable. Flu vaccinations are approved for children ages six months and older. If you have a child younger than six months, you can protect him or her by getting everyone else in the family vaccinated.

Pregnant Women

The bodily changes associated with pregnancy mean that expectant mothers are more likely to suffer flu complications. Pregnant women with the flu are also at an increased risk of premature labor and delivery. The flu vaccine is safe for expectant mothers.

Individuals with Chronic Health Issues

Individuals with certain medical problems are a high-risk population. These include people with the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Asthma
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Cancer
  • Obesity

Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center has provided quality emergency medical services to residents of the Thousand Oaks area for more than four decades. The Emergency Room at our state-of-the-art community hospital maintains short wait times to help our patients feel better faster. You can contact a registered nurse at our hospital by calling (877) 888-5746; however, please call 911 if you require emergency medical assistance.

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