Who's at Risk?

Anyone can get the flu -- even people who are otherwise healthy, and serious complications can occur at any age. About 10 percent to 20 percent of the people in the United States get the flu each year. Those who are most at risk of getting the flu are:
  • People age 50 years and older
  • People with chronic or long-term medical conditions
  • Very young children
  • Pregnant women

Most people who get influenza recover in one to two weeks. However, complications including pneumonia, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections can cause additional problems for people. The flu can also worsen the symptoms of asthma, congestive heart failure and other chronic illnesses.

Some 114,000 people are admitted to the hospital each year for the flu, and an average of about 36,000 people die each year from complications of the flu.

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