sick woman with flu laying on couch

The Flu: Complication Prevention

Catching and experiencing the flu can heavily impact even the healthiest of individuals. Unlike having a sniffle or a sore throat, flu symptoms can include “feeling feverish [or having chills], cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, [as well as] headaches and fatigue (tiredness),” according to the CDC. These symptoms can last from a couple days to weeks, but can usually be managed without complication. However, it should still be taken into consideration that the flu can be the cause of more serious health issues, such as sinusitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia, and should not be taken lightly.

Within the past 9 years alone, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that “influenza has resulted in between 9.3 million – 49.0 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 960,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 79,000 deaths annually since 2010,” with an estimated 49 million illnesses, 960,000 hospitalizations, and 79,000 deaths occurring between 2017-2018.

This might seem confusing, but what these statistics show are that the highest recorded flu averages from the years 2010 until 2018, have been recorded in 2018, with one of the largest increases in flu-related averages happening from 2016-2017 to 2017-2018.

WebMD lists that common flu complications can include:

  • Viral or bacterial pneumonia
  • Dehydration
  • Ear infections and sinus infections (especially in children)
  • Muscle inflammation (or myositis)
  • Problems with your central nervous system
  • Heart problems, such as:
    • Heart attacks
    • Inflammation of the organ (myocarditis)
    • Inflammation of the sac around an organ (pericarditis)

The flu can also worsen symptoms of long-term pre-existing conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

Who is most at risk of developing complications?

  • Those who are over 50 years-old
  • Pregnant women and children between the ages of 6 months to 4 years
  • Nursing home residents
  • Those diagnosed with lung disease or those who have compromised immune systems (such as those diagnosed with HIV or AIDs)

When should I call my doctor if complications arise?

If you begin to experience symptoms such as a high fever with shaking chills, difficulty in breathing (including rapid breathing or shortness of breath), coughing up blood-tinged mucus, wheezing, or chest pains, you should seek immediate medical attention.

How can I be more proactive about the flu?

Flu shots are the primary prevention method against catching the flu. Getting your flu vaccine (also commonly known as an Influenza vaccine) as early as possible can help protect you against flu symptoms and complications, as well as other medical complications that can arise from having the flu (such as sinusitis, bronchitis, or pneumonia).

All of Healthpointe’s locations offer a large selection of the most common vaccines. For only $40, you can protect yourself against the flu virus.

If you are looking to be proactive or preventative for this fall season, or if you’re in need of another vaccine for travel, school, work, or other personal purposes, be sure to stop by your nearest Healthpointe location!

Disclaimer: Contact any of our locations to ensure that the vaccine you are looking for is available. If we do not carry the vaccine that you require, our company can order your vaccination for

To see a comprehensive list of our locations along with each branch’s corresponding contact information, check out the bottom of our Physicals and Vaccinations page.

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