Your Flu Season Toolkit
Although most people recover from the flu within a week to 10 days, for some people, the complications from the flu can be severe, or even deadly. These complications can include bronchitis, pneumonia, kidney failure or heart failure.
One of the most common complications related to influenza is a bacterial infection of the upper and/or lower respiratory tract. Symptoms of a bacterial infection include lack of improvement in a person's condition after 3-5 days, and blood or mucous coming up when the person coughs.
Adults and children who suffer from cardiac or pulmonary disorders (e.g. asthma, cystic fibrosis) may see their chronic condition worsen.
Young children are particularly susceptible to complications from the flu. Some symptoms of complications in children include, difficulty breathing, sudden paleness, fever or low temperature, inability to drink or breastfeed, vomiting more than 2-3 times in 24 hours, a stiff neck, lethargy or confusion, and convulsions or seizures.
Pregnant women who contract influenza may develop pneumonia and may require hospitalization.
Elderly people (65 years and older) have the highest rate of hospitalization and death from the flu. Common complications of the flu for seniors include bacterial infection and pneumonia.