You may not realize it, but every year an alarming number of people die from the flu. While the flu is usually not much more than an inconvenience for many people, for others it can be life threatening. If you want to know why people die from the flu, you need to take a look at the groups that are most at risk.
The first reason people die from the flu is due to a secondary infection. The elderly are most at risk for this type of a problem. When you get the flu, your immune system is weakened severely. Because the flu affects the respiratory system, the lungs are especially vulnerable when you have the flu. Many people die from the flu because they aren’t able to fight off a secondary infection, such as pneumonia.
Another reason why people die from the flu is from dehydration. While not everyone that suffers from the flu will experience digestive symptoms, many people do. They can’t stop the diarrhea or vomiting that may accompany the flu. If they don’t then replace the fluids that they’ve lost, they can soon become weak. Eventually, dehydration may set in and they may even die from it.
The Flu also can cause other problems. Among young children and infants, for example, the flu can cause dangerously high fevers. These fevers, if they are left untreated, can lead to severe problems such as hemorrhaging of the brain. If it isn’t treated quickly and effectively, this can even lead to death.
The sad fact of the matter is that many people who die from the flu didn’t have to die. The flu vaccine, while it can’t prevent every possible strain of the Influenza virus, is able to catch the most common strains and keep them from infecting the person. The flu vaccine is relatively inexpensive, as well, and is covered by many insurance plans.
People who are in an at-risk group and in danger of dying from the flu should get the flu vaccine if at all possible. This includes the elderly, people with weakened immune systems or other chronic health problems, as well as children under the age of two and over the age of six months. In addition, parents and caregivers who are responsible for people who are in danger of dying from the flu should also get the flu vaccine, so as not to pass the virus along to those that may be especially vulnerable.