If you haven’t done so already, be sure to visit your doctor or local pharmacy and ask about getting a flu shot. While not all people with disabilities are at a high risk for getting the flu or experiencing complications from it, it’s a good idea to protect yourself by getting vaccinated and taking everyday precautions, such as washing your hands frequently and keeping away from people who are sick, to stay as healthy as possible.
According to Flu.gov, there are certain groups of disabled individuals who are at a higher risk for contracting the flu or experiencing complications. These individuals include:
- Those with limited mobility.
- Those who can’t limit contact with others who are infected, such as caretakers and family members.
- Those who have trouble understanding or practicing preventative measures.
- Those who are unable to communicate symptoms.
- Those who are not monitored closely for symptoms.
Those with chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and HIV/AIDs are also at a higher risk for getting the flu, and should consult with their doctor about the best way to protect themselves.
You can also protect yourself by encouraging caretakers, family members and anybody else who you have frequent, prolonged contact with to get a flu shot as well.
If you do get sick, visit your doctor right away. While there is no cure for the flu besides letting it run its course, your doctor can prescribe you antiviral medications that can reduce your symptoms and make you less contagious.
When you are coping with a disability, the last thing you want to deal with is fighting the flu. Getting a flu shot will decrease your chances of getting sick, allowing you to focus on treating your current medical condition.