Which patient groups are the most likely to get the flu?

September 21, 2020

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that affects millions of people per year. While anyone can contract the flu, some groups are more susceptible than others. The flu is also more dangerous to certain populations than others. Our team will dive into who is at high risk from the flu and preventative measures everyone can take to avoid getting sick. 

Additionally, complications from the COVID-19 pandemic may influence patients to get vaccinated early or even drive large spikes in demand for the flu shot. If you have any additional questions about flu shot availability then please contact AFC Urgent Care Denver immediately.

Children are most likely to get the flu. 


Children younger than 18 are actually twice as likely to develop a flu infection than older adults. In fact, about 15% of children between 0 and 4 years old will contract the flu in any given season. That same subset of children are also at high risk from the flu, meaning that it can create serious health problems if a young child develops the flu. As schools re-open, the spread of flu and other seasonal illnesses are likely to spike in the near future. 

Older adults are least likely to get the flu. 

The flu shot is generally offered to everyone, but especially important for young children and older adults. Therefore, it may be surprising that adults older than 65 are among the least likely to contract the flu. In fact, only about 4% of adults older than 65 contract the flu in any flu season. 

However, this population has the highest risk of developing serious complications if they do contract the flu, and therefore the vaccine is highly recommended.  Older adults also have risks of moderate to severe COVID-19 symptoms so you may benefit from Rapid COVID-19 Testing at AFC Urgent Care Denver University Hills and AFC Urgent Care Denver Five Points. 

Preventative Measures for the Flu

Even if you are not in one of the high-risk groups, it is critical that everyone gets a flu vaccine each year. Flu vaccines help prevent the flu from spreading, and also reduce the risk of serious flu complications if one does get sick. If you are not sure where to get the vaccine, many pharmacies and urgent care centers offer the flu vaccine on a walk-in basis, so you can get the vaccine quickly when it is convenient for you. 

Additionally, avoiding people who are sick and frequent handwashing are recommended to avoid contracting the flu. 

It can be almost impossible to diagnose flu from other respiratory illnesses based on symptoms alone. If you suspect that you or your child has the flu, you should be seen by a medical professional for testing. Urgent care centers have viable treatment options for patients of all ages. Learn more at our urgent care center! 

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