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Diseases » Flu » Complications

Complications of Flu

Complications list for Flu:

The list of complications that have been mentioned in various sources for Flu includes:

  • Pneumonia - This lung infection is one of the most serious possible complications.
  • Bronchitis
  • Secondary bacterial infections
  • Mycocardial complications
  • Several complications can occur in children with the flu
  • Febrile seizures - children
  • Exacerbation of pre-existing asthma
  • Exacerbation of pre-existing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Exacerbation of pre-existing heart failure
  • Negative effects on developing fetus in pregnant women
  • Death

See also the symptoms of Flu and Flu: Introduction.

Complications and sequelae of Flu from the Diseases Database include:

Source: Diseases Database

See also the symptoms of Flu and Flu: Introduction.

Complications of Flu:

The Flu, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

For elderly people, newborn babies, and people with certain chronic illnesses, however, the flu and its complications can be life-threatening. (Source: excerpt from The Flu, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

The Flu, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

You can have flu complications if you get a bacterial infection, which causes pneumonia in your weakened lungs. Pneumonia also can be caused by the flu virus itself.

Symptoms of complications will usually appear after you start feeling better. After a brief period of improvement, you may suddenly get

  • High fever
  • Shaking chills
  • Chest pain with each breath
  • Coughing that produces thick, yellow-greenish-colored mucus
Pneumonia can be a very serious and sometimes life-threatening condition. If you have any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately so that you can get the appropriate treatment. (Source: excerpt from The Flu, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

The Flu, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID (Excerpt)

Reye's syndrome, a condition that affects the nerves, sometimes develops in children and adolescents who are recovering from the flu. Reye's syndrome begins with nausea and vomiting, but the progressive mental changes (such as confusion or delirium) cause the greatest concern.

The syndrome often begins in young people after they take aspirin to get rid of fever or pain. Although very few children develop Reye's syndrome, you should consult a doctor before giving aspirin or products that contain aspirin to children. Acetaminophen does not seem to be associated with Reye's syndrome.

Other complications of the flu that affect children are

  • Convulsions caused by fever
  • Croup
  • Ear infections, such as otitis media
Newborn babies recently out of intensive care units are particularly vulnerable to suffering from flu complications. (Source: excerpt from The Flu, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Facts About Flu (Influenza): CDC-OC (Excerpt)

Most people who get the flu recover fully within 1-2 weeks. However, some people develop serious, life-threatening complications such as pneumonia. In an average season, flu is associated with 20,000 deaths nationwide. (Source: excerpt from Facts About Flu (Influenza): CDC-OC)

What to Do About the Flu -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA (Excerpt)

While your body is busy fighting off the flu, you may be less able to resist a second infection. Older people and people with chronic illnesses run the greatest risk of getting secondary infections, especially pneumonia. In an average year, flu leads to about 20,000 deaths nationwide and many more hospitalizations. (Source: excerpt from What to Do About the Flu -- Age Page -- Health Information: NIA)

You may also want to research other symptoms in our Symptoms Center.

About complications:

Complications of Flu are secondary conditions, symptoms, or other disorders that are caused by Flu. In many cases the distinction between symptoms of Flu and complications of Flu is unclear or arbitrary.


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