Influenza (Flu) in Arizona

Information for Special Populations

Most people who get influenza will have a mild illness and recover in less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications that can be very severe. Complications and severe illness are more likely in young children and people over 65 years old, or in people with certain chronic health conditions.

Additionally, people in some occupations or settings, or who live with or care for people at high risk of complications, may be at increased risk of being infected with influenza or passing it on to other people.

In general, yearly flu vaccination is the best way to protect anyone at high risk of getting the flu or flu-related complications. Additional information for specific populations is below.

People at High Risk for Developing Flu-Related Complications

According to CDC, the following people are at high risk for developing complications if they get the flu:

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • Adults 65 years of age and older
  • Pregnant women
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives seem to be at higher risk of flu complications
  • People who have medical conditions including:
    • Asthma
    • Neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability (mental retardation), moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].
    • Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
    • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
    • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
    • Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
    • Kidney disorders
    • Liver disorders
    • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
    • Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids)
    • People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
    • People who are morbidly obese (Body Mass Index, or BMI, of 40 or greater)

Occupations and Special Settings