• Some people are more at risk of developing the flu or its complications because of their age, medications, or health conditions.

  • Two types of medication are used to treat the flu: symptom control medications and antiviral medications.

  • Young healthy children (under 5 years of age) are at risk for complications from the flu. The risk is higher in children under 2 years of age. One study found that 57% of children who were hospitalized with the flu were under 2 years of age. Another study found that children under 2 years of age were 12 times as likely to be hospitalized for the flu as children 5 to 17 years of age.

  • People with certain chronic (long-term) medical conditions are at risk for flu complications: Heart disease People with heart disease, such as congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, or congestive heart failure (CHF), are at risk of flu complications. In fact, people with heart disease are more likely to die of the flu or its complications than people with any other chronic medical condition.

  • Seniors tend to be more prone to getting sick. They are more likely to have medical conditions that increase the risk of flu complications, such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or a weakened immune system. For these reasons, seniors are more prone to flu complications. Seniors have a much higher risk of death from flu complications, and the risk increases with age.

  • Pregnancy puts extra demands on a woman's body. A pregnant woman's heart and lungs are working harder than usual to supply blood and oxygen to her baby. This makes pregnant women more prone to flu complications. Pregnant women are 4 times as likely as non-pregnant women to be hospitalized for flu complications.

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