Understanding How the Flu Can Impact Other Health Conditions

The seasonal flu affects an estimated 5 to 20 percent of Americans every year. While most healthy individuals can cope with flu symptoms and overcome the virus, the flu can cause potentially serious complications in those with compromised immune systems. Riverside Community Hospital recommends that you stay safe this holiday season and be aware of potential flu complications with this brief guide:

Young woman with handkerchief.

Chronic Respiratory Illness
Asthma is the most common health condition among children and adults who are hospitalized with the flu, which can increase the risk of flu-related complications. The flu can cause inflammation in the lungs and airways, resulting in pneumonia or other acute respiratory diseases.

Diabetes can weaken the immune system and make it more difficult to fight the flu virus. Flu symptoms can also interfere with normal appetite and food intake, potentially resulting in an increase in blood glucose levels. Those with diabetes must be particularly vigilant when grappling with flu symptoms.

There are over 100 different types of arthritis. Some types of arthritis and even some arthritis-related medications can  weaken the immune system. People with arthritis who take steroids, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, or biological response modifiers may wish to consult their doctor about potential complications from the flu and other common diseases.

Heart Disease
People with heart disease already have an increased risk of heart attack, and those who get the flu are at an even higher risk. Heart disease can make the body too weak to fight off the flu, which can worsen heart disease symptoms and cause further complications.

The staff at  Riverside Community Hospital  is here to provide comprehensive medical care and personalized treatment options for a wide range of conditions. As an award-winning healthcare provider in Riverside County, we take pride in putting patient health and happiness above all else. Call (951) 788-3000 to receive a physician referral.

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