Did you know that diabetes can weaken your immune system and limit your ability to fight the flu? If you have diabetes, you are at greater risk for severe complications from the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) are three times more likely to be hospitalized with the flu and three times more likely to die from the flu and its complications. In fact, 31% of Bostonians hospitalized with the flu during the 2012-2013 flu season had diabetes.
Vaccination is the best protection against the flu. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine this year, especially anyone with diabetes. To find a vaccine in Boston:
- Ask your doctor.
- Click Here to find a public flu clinic.
- Click Here to find a pharmacy offering flu vaccines (Note that pharmacists in Massachusetts can only vaccinate those who are 18 years old and older. Please call ahead to confirm the pharmacy has vaccine available.)
In addition to getting a vaccine this year, we can all help stop the spread of flu in Boston:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand gel.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean surfaces in your home regularly with a household cleaner.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick when possible.
- If you become sick, stay home. A person with the flu should stay home for 24 hours after their fever has gone away without the use of fever reducing medicine. For most people, this will be a minimum of 4 days.
For more information about flu, visit www.bphc.org/flu. If you need help finding a doctor or getting health insurance, call the Mayor’s Health Line at (617) 534-5050.