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What medical conditions can lead to complications from the flu?

ANSWER

You are more likely to get serious flu-related complications and should get a flu vaccine if you have:

  • Asthma (even if it's mild or controlled) or other lung disease
  • Brain, spinal cord, or nerve disorders or injury such as stroke, epilepsy, mental retardation, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or spinal cord injury
  • Diabetes and other endocrine disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Kidney disease or damage
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease or damage
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • Morbidly obese (BMI of 40 or greater)
  • Sickle cell disease and other blood disorders
  • A weakened immune system due to certain diseases or medical treatments

SOURCES:

CDC web site: "Possible Side Effects of Vaccines;" "Seasonal Influenza (Flu): Key Facts about Seasonal Influenza (Flu);" "Live Intransal Influenza Vaccine;" and "Seasonal Influenza: Q&A Nasal Spray Vaccine."

Flu.gov web site. "Vaccination."

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Types of Vaccines."

GlaxoSmithKline.

News release, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 8, 2018

SOURCES:

CDC web site: "Possible Side Effects of Vaccines;" "Seasonal Influenza (Flu): Key Facts about Seasonal Influenza (Flu);" "Live Intransal Influenza Vaccine;" and "Seasonal Influenza: Q&A Nasal Spray Vaccine."

Flu.gov web site. "Vaccination."

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Types of Vaccines."

GlaxoSmithKline.

News release, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 8, 2018

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Which people especially should get the influenza vaccine?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.