‘Risk’ is defined by Merriam-Webster as “possibility of loss or injury”, whereas ‘at risk’ is defined as “in a state or condition marked by a high level of risk or susceptibility”. Both of these definitions have an emphasis on uncertainty and undesired consequences. However the researches so far had usually different perceptions about the risk and therefore had somewhat different nuances. 

All in all, certain conditions can put you at higher risk for suffering severe complications from flu. Here is a list of the factors by Central for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Adults 65 years and older
  • Children under the age of 5, especially under 2 years old.
  • Asthma
  • Neurologic and neurodevelopmental conditions
  • Blood disorders (such as sickle cells)
  • Chronic lung diseases
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g. diabetes mellitus)
  • People who are obese with a BMI 40 or higher
  • People with a weakened immune system
  • People with a history of stroke
  • Pregnancy and 2 weeks after the end of pregnancy
  • Being from certain racial and ethnic minority groups are some of the factors that could be risk factors.

One of the common suggestions from CDC is to have annual vaccination, unless your doctor recommends otherwise. Also in long-term care facilities antiviral medications can be used for prevention of influenza during the flu outbreaks.

Here is a video about flu vaccination by CDC:

Other than special conditions, the risk factors also include the following COVID-19 pandemic. CDC believes that among COVID-19 the flu viruses’ spread will continue as well. It recommends that all people older than 5.9 months should get a yearly influenza vaccine. 

In addition to all these general recommendations you can get your personalized recommendations from FluAI which is powered by Artificial Intelligence technology developed by the Yesil Science team.


Xu, J., & Peng, Z. (2015). People at Risk of Influenza Pandemics: The Evolution of Perception and Behavior. PLOS ONE, 10(12), e0144868. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144868  

Flu & People 65 Years and Older [Internet]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2020 [cited 2020Nov16]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/65over.htm


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