Diabetics should be among the
first in line to receive their flu shots this year, putting special importance
on it because of the delay in the availability of the shots. The U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination for those aged
50 and older and people with diabetes, among other chronic diseases.
The CDC had been concerned about an adequate supply of the vaccine this
year. Now, although there seems to be enough, the CDC is worried that more
people could become ill or die because they won't get the vaccination in time.
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) wants to
remind patients with endocrine disorders that they are at risk, and those with
diabetes are at high risk and should be among the first to receive the
vaccine. Those with other endocrine issues, such as thyroid disorders,
osteoporosis and menopause, are more likely to be at risk because of their age
rather than the disorder itself.
Paul S. Jellinger, MD, FACE, AACE President, emphasizes, "Diabetes is a
complex disease with serious consequences and acquiring a severe case of the
flu can have devastating effects."
AACE offers the following tips for those with diabetes to avoid the flu:
- Receive the flu shot as soon as possible.
- Contact your physician or health department to find out when and where
the flu shot will be available.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid crowded places.
- Eat well and exercise.
- Get adequate rest.
- Control your blood sugars as carefully as possible.
The flu shot normally takes two weeks to build up protection from the
virus. "Even though flu season usually peaks in January, waiting to take the
vaccine increases the risk, so AACE is encouraging persons with diabetes to
roll up their sleeves as soon as it is available," stated Dr. Jellinger.
Patients at risk are advised of the following: "If you think you have the symptoms of the flu, control your blood sugars, stay well hydrated, and seek the advice of your physician for additional measures. If your diabetes becomes uncontrolled, consult your endocrinologist."
AACE is a professional medical organization dedicated to the optimal care
of patients with endocrine problems such as diabetes, osteoporosis, thyroid
disorders, growth hormone deficiency, cholesterol disorders, hypertension and
obesity. Its 3,500 physician members are specialists with advanced training
supported by AACE's state-of-the-art continuing education programs. For more
information on AACE, visit their web site at www.aace.com.