The Center for Disease Control has launched a new website specifically for people with disabilities.
According to the CDC, people with certain types of disability have a higher risk of getting flu-related complications, such as pneumonia. Some physical disabilities can affect how well your body fights off infection. People with conditions that affect their immune system, which controls how well your body fights off infections (including chronic and respiratory diseases) are at increased risk for getting more severe illness and requiring hospitalization.
Other disabilities are cognitive in nature. Cognitive conditions can lead to challenges in processing information and making decisions. Cognitive disabilities may affect implementation of prevention measures, such as follow through with hand washing, cough and sneeze protection, self-monitoring of illness, and ability to avoid contact with people who are sick.
The CDC indicated that people with the disabilities listed below have an increased risk of becoming infected or having unrecognized illness. Y Disability groups at risk of getting flu and/or having unrecognized flu symptoms include:
- People who have limited mobility or who cannot limit coming into contact with others who are infected, like staff and family members
- People who have trouble understanding or practicing preventive measures such as hand washing
- People who may not be able to communicate symptoms of illness
- People who may not be monitored closely for symptoms of illness
People at High Risk for Developing Flu-Related Complications
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- Pregnant women
Also at risk are people who have medical conditions including:
- Neurological and neuro-developmental conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability (mental retardation), moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury]
- Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
- Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
- Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
- Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
- Kidney disorders
- Liver disorders
- Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
- Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids)
People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy