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Can Flu Cause Organ Failure?

Posted on April 28, 2022
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One of the most dangerous complications of flu is organ failure. Organ failure can happen when having the flu creates a domino effect. The flu can trigger other problems or exacerbate symptoms of a chronic condition. What might start out as the flu can quickly become sepsis, pneumonia, or inflammation of the heart, brain, or muscles that lead to organ failure. These complications can be life-threatening and may result in death.

Some people are at high risk of serious complications, including:

  • young children under 5, and especially under 2
  • pregnant women
  • people 65 years and older
  • those with chronic health conditions including diabetes, heart and lung illnesses, and immunocompromised conditions (weakened immune system)

Influenza can potentially result in serious complications, and flu vaccination can be lifesaving.  If you think you have the flu, request a flu diagnostic test. If the test is positive, you may be eligible for flu antiviral medications.

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