While the main way to get the flu is to be in contact with someone who has the flu virus, that doesn’t mean you aren’t more susceptible. Some people are at a higher risk of getting the flu because of where they live or work, while others have a higher risk of developing complications as a result of getting the flu. Here are some risk factors you should know about.
Occupations That Put You at a Higher Risk
Generally speaking, any occupation where you are around a lot of other people will put you at a higher risk for getting the flu. This is more prevalent when you have actual physical contact either with people who might have the flu, or the surfaces they also touch. For example, people who work at schools are often at a higher risk. You have children who might come in with germs and viruses, touching the same desks, chairs, books, and door handles that you are touching. People who work in medical centers, hospitals, and doctor’s offices are naturally at the highest risk for getting the flu and the common head cold as well.
Being at Risk for More Severe Complications
Some people also fit into a group of people that might have more serious complications. This is good to know because it shows how important it is for you to get fast treatment. The last thing you want to do is have the flu, not treat it, and end up in the hospital with an IV because you did not act fast enough. People who tend to be at a higher risk for more serious complications include senior citizens, younger children and infants, and pregnant women. See a doctor if you fit any of these categories or someone you know has the flu, and make sure you get proper treatment.
Be Careful With These Medical Conditions
Lastly, be aware of the medical conditions that put you at a greater risk. These don’t necessarily put you at a higher risk of getting the flu, but of the complications and more severe side effects of this type of virus. You should be more wary if you have asthma, a chronic lung disease or heart disease, neurological conditions, liver or kidney disorders, weakened immune system, or if you have an endocrine disorder like diabetes. Complications can vary from pneumonia to organ failure, so treat every flu like a serious condition.