UMEM Educational Pearls

While the flu season this year has been mild, it is still important to recognize which patients are at high risk for flu-related complications:


  • Children < 5 years old
    • Especially children < 2 years old
  • Adults > 65 years old
  • Pregnant women
    • Including women up to 2 weeks post-partum
  • Residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives
  • Patients with certain medical conditions, including:
    • Respiratory diseases, such as asthma and COPD
    • Neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions
    • Heart disease, including CHF and CAD
    • Blood disorders (e.g. sickle cell disease)
    • Endocrine and metabolic disorders (e.g. diabetes)
    • Kidney or liver diseases
    • People <19 years old on long-term aspirin therapy
    • Morbid obesity (BMI > 40)
    • Immunocompromised, (e.g. chronic steroids, transplant patients, AIDS patients, chronic steroid use)


During the influenza season, when admitting a patient who 1) has respiratory symptoms and 2) is at high risk for influenza complications, consider testing them for influenza.