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The Flu – Are You at High Risk for Complications?

Some people will experience the flu this season and feel better within a few weeks, considering the illness very mild. However, there are certain people who are much more likely to develop serious complications, requiring hospitalization and in rare instances resulting in death. There are also medical conditions that can be made much worse by contracting the flu. People at High Risk: • Pregnant women • Women up to two weeks post-partum• Adults over the age of 65• Children younger than the age of two• Residents of nursing homes• American Indians• Alaskan Natives The flu virus can also be dangerous for people who have asthma, kidney disorders, liver disorders, weakened immune systems due to medication or disease (HIV/AIDS or cancer), diabetes, and people who are morbidly obese. In addition, certain people cannot receive the flu shot, such as people with allergies to eggs or other ingredients used in the vaccine, people who have ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), people who are feeling ill, and children younger than 6 months old.According to the Center for Disease Control, it takes up to two weeks after receiving a vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and protect against the flu, so be mindful of the risks you may carry and take preventative measures if necessary; it may save you from serious complications or even save your life.If you have questions about the influenza vaccine or concerns about possible complications, please call your Primary Health Network office.

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