Factors that may increase your risk of developing influenza or its complications include:
Oct. 21, 2014
- Age. Seasonal influenza tends to target young children and people over 65. The pandemic H1N1 virus that surfaced in 2009, however, appeared to be most common in teenagers and young adults.
- Occupation. Health care workers and child care personnel are more likely to have close contact with people infected with influenza.
- Living conditions. People who live in facilities along with many other residents, such as nursing homes or military barracks, are more likely to develop influenza.
- Weakened immune system. Cancer treatments, anti-rejection drugs, corticosteroids and HIV/AIDS can weaken your immune system. This can make it easier for you to catch influenza and may also increase your risk of developing complications.
- Chronic illnesses. Chronic conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart problems, may increase your risk of influenza complications.
- Pregnancy. Pregnant women are more likely to develop influenza complications, particularly in the second and third trimesters.
- Labella AM. Influenza. Medical Clinics of North American. 2013;97:621.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed June 19, 2014.
- Dolin R. Epidemiology of influenza. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 19, 2014.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Prevention and control of seasonal influenza with vaccines. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2013-2014. MMWR. 2013;62:1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6207a1.htm?s_cid=rr6207a1_w. Accessed June 15, 2014.
- Zachary KC. Treatment of seasonal influenza in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 15, 2014.
- CDC recommendations for influenza antiviral medications remain unchanged. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/media/haveyouheard/stories/Influenza_antiviral2.html. Accessed June 19, 2014.
- Selecting viruses for the seasonal influenza vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/vaccine-selection.htm#composition. Accessed June 15, 2014.
- Preventing the flu: Good health habits can help stop germs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm. Accessed June 19, 2014.
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