Every fall and winter season, friends, family, caregivers, and coworkers, become sick with influenza—the flu. This is bad enough for anyone, but, even if blood sugars are well-controlled, flu symptoms, and its effects can be more severe for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
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Here are some actions you can take:
CDC - Diabetes and Influenza: Protect Yourself from Influenza - Diabetes Issues - News - Diabetes DDT
1. Get a flu shot every year! It’s the single best way to protect yourself against the flu, reducing the risk of getting flu by about 80%. To find out where to get a flu shot, see the Flu Vaccine Locator.
2. Also, get vaccinated against pneumonia. One possible complication of flu can be pneumonia. Talk to your health care provider for more information on getting both vaccines.
3. Contact your health care provider as soon as you notice flu-like symptoms. Take prescription flu medicine when your doctor prescribes it.
4. Follow sick day guidelines. This is important for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, even if their blood sugars are well controlled.
5. Take everyday steps to protect your health, like washing your hands and avoiding close contact with sick people.
If you provide care for someone with diabetes, or have a family member or friend with diabetes, you also should follow the guidelines above (for example, get a flu shot!).
CDC - Diabetes & Flu: What You Need to Know and Do - Diabetes Issues - News - Diabetes DDT
If you are a health care provider, refresh your knowledge about the flu: Seasonal Influenza: Information for Health Professionals
Additional Resources Diabetes and Influenza: A Dangerous Mix (video)
CDC - Medscape Commentary: Diabetes and Influenza: A Dangerous Mix - Diabetes Issues - News - Diabetes DDTFlu and People with Diabetes
The best way to avoid the consequences of the flu is not to get it! You can greatly lower your risk if you follow the guidelines above.
For more information on diabetes and the flu, in addition to the CDC.gov/Diabetes/Flu Web site, visit the Diabetes page on the CDC.gov/Flu site.