Risk Factors for the Flu

Do you get sick with the flu every year? The flu virus affects countless people each year. And while the virus is widespread, some people rarely become sick. Why is this? The flu virus doesn’t discriminate, and anyone who skips their annual flu vaccine is at risk. However, there are risk factors for the virus. And if you fall into any of these categories, your chances of becoming ill are higher.

1. Over the age of 65. Elderly people have a weaker immune system, thus more susceptible to the flu virus. Additionally, children are commonly affected by the virus due to their lower immune system.

2. Healthcare workers. Because people who work in hospitals, health clinics and doctor offices come in constant contact with sick people, they’re more likely to become infected with the flu virus.

3. Teachers/childcare workers. Since the flu is higher in children, people who work with children or care for children (including parents) have a higher risk of becoming sick.

4. Other illnesses. People diagnosed with heart disease, diabetes or an autoimmune disease also have a higher risk of being infected with the flu virus. The risk of flu complications are also higher for people in this category. Thus it’s important for people with an underlying medical illness to get an annual flu vaccine.

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