The flu is never fun for anyone. Most people who get sick will have only a mild illness. Some people, however, are at greater risk and are more likely to experience complications.
Flu can be especially serious if you have disabilities or certain health issues, as you may require special treatment and care when you get sick. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you’re at greater risk if you:
• have health problems that make it hard for your body to fight off infections;
• have lung problems, like asthma or bronchitis;
• have difficulty walking and moving around; or
• aren’t able to stay away from people who may be sick with the flu.
If you rely on a caregiver, you should take extra precautions. If you or your caregiver gets the flu, have a list ready of local friends, family and agencies that can help. Make sure you know at least two ways of staying in contact with others, such as phone, text messaging and e-mail. Also, ask your health care provider whether flu medicine is safe to take with regular medicine.
CDC also recommends that you:
• make sure you prevent the spread of germs by using a tissue when you cough or sneeze;
• stay away from sick people; and
• wash your hands often.
If you do get sick, call your doctor. And, of course, be sure that you, your family members and caregivers get vaccinated against the flu every year. (It’s not too late to get your vaccination for this flu season!)
Preventing flu is important for everyone. But for some of us, taking extra care to stay well is especially important.