What is the flu? Who is most at risk for the flu?


(electronic chiming) Flu is that winter
respiratory infection that can make you really sick. It’s not a cold. You know, we call
so many things flu, but influenza caused by
the several varieties of influenza virus, and
we’ll talk some about them, is the one that can make you
really sick, really fast. It’s the one that can
take even a healthy child or a healthy robust young adult and, on occasion, put them
into the emergency room within 24 to 48 hours because they’re so
desperately short of breath. And, of course, I
suspect we all know that influenza strikes some
people more than others with its complications of pneumonia,
hospitalization, and dying, and those people are
people who are older, older than 65 years of age
and, among younger people, those who have
underlying heart disease, lung disease,
diabetes, for example, and very young children. And, I shouldn’t fail to
mention women who are pregnant. It’s not usually well-known that women who are
pregnant who get flu have rates of complications that are comparable
to senior citizens. So we’re very concerned
about pregnant women also.

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