Those with diabetes are at greater risk for the flu and flu complications
According to the CDC, in the recent season, about 30% of adults in the hospital for the flu had diabetes.
The fact is people with diabetes, even if well-managed, are at a higher risk of serious influenza complications.
According to the Director of Education and Patient Care at UHC, Brenda Conch, these complications can result in hospitalization and sometimes even death.
"If they have diabetes, specifically when they get the flu, their diabetes is now out of control because that's what happens when an individual is ill, their glucose goes up," said Conch.
The reason those with diabetes or other chronic illnesses can get sicker from the flu is because their body is already fighting an illness.
"Your body is attending to that illness, so it doesn't really pay attention to something else coming at it," said Conch.
Conch says the flu shot is our best defense against the flu.
"Obviously the other ones is good, hand hygiene and make certain you, but the best is through the flu vaccine," said Conch.
If someone with diabetes wants to get the influenza vaccine, it is recommended they must get the actual shot — not the intranasal form. The CDC warned two years ago that intranasal form simply isn't effective.
Obviously there are some misconceptions about the flu shot and how it works.
"Back in the old days, it was a live virus, so there are people that still recall they got a shot a long time ago and they did get the flu with it. When you lived that, it's hard to convince someone that is not how it is anymore. It does work, and it does work against flu we're immunizing for," said Conch.
Conch says there is an exception to every rule, but pretty much everyone needs to get the flu shot – the exception being infants or if your doctor tells you otherwise.
In addition, after an individual receives the flu shot, it takes 14 days to take full effect, so you should always get it early.