Following is a list of all the health and age factors that are known to increase a person’s risk of getting serious complications from flu:
According to new research, the elderly are more susceptible to influenza because their immune systems have trouble recognizing new viral strains. The findings, published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, may help researchers design more effective flu vaccines for the elderly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following people are at high risk for developing influenza-related complications:
11 Risk Factors for Infections Among the Elderly
The same CID study found that children are most likely to get sick from flu and that people 65 and older are least likely to get sick from influenza. Median incidence values (or attack rate) by age group were 9.3% for children 0-17 years, 8.8% for adults 18-64 years, and 3.9% for adults 65 years and older.
Fevers without a known cause are relatively common among younger adults. But among seniors, fevers are more likely to indicate a serious viral or bacterial infection. They can also be the result of heat stress, sepsis, malignant growths, medication side-effects, or a symptom of common chronic conditions like arthritis.
Flu Risk Factors
Persons considered to be at increased risk of complications from influenza include young children, pregnant women and postpartum women up to 2 weeks after delivery, older adults, people with certain chronic medical problems, people who live in nursing homes, and certain racial and ethnic minority groups.
Healthy Habits to Help Protect Against Flu
Life style risk factors such as aging, poor nutrition, infection and exposure to toxicants can also increase susceptibility to illnesses. These life style factors can therefore be considered to cause acquired susceptibility for increased risk for environmental disease.
Many factors, such as malnutrition and the presence of structural lung disease, increase the risk of respiratory infection in older individuals. Aging is also accompanied by a gradual decline in many aspects of immune function, and waning immunity is thought to be an important risk factor for pneumonia in the elderly.
In the elderly individual, the increased incidence of infection and mortality for many infectious diseases (Figure 124-1) is likely a direct result of the comorbid conditions (e.g., diabetes, renal failure, chronic pulmonary disease, edema, immobility) that accompany advanced age.
Influenza is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs. Influenza is commonly called the flu, but it’s not the same as stomach “flu” viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting.
People of any age, even children, can catch COVID-19. But it most commonly affects middle-aged and older adults. The risk of developing dangerous symptoms increases with age, with those who are age 85 and older at the highest risk of serious symptoms.