In addition to the typical symptoms, the flu can put additional stress on the bodies of people with diabetes, causing an increase in blood sugar levels and upping the chances of complications.
Seasonal flu is a highly infectious respiratory illness caused by a flu virus. It spreads rapidly through the coughs and sneezes of infected people. Seasonal flu immunisation, or the flu jab, is the injection of a vaccine against flu. It gives good protection from flu that lasts for one year. The flu jab is offered to people in at-risk groups, who are at greater risk of developing serious complications from flu. To stay protected, they need to have it every year. The vaccine, which is normally available in the autumn, is made from the strains of flu that are expected in winter (see About the vaccine).
The flu vaccines currently available give 70-80% protection against infection, with flu virus strains closely matching those in the vaccine. In the elderly, protection against infection may be less, but immunisation reduces the chances of pneumonia, hospital admissions and death from seasonal flu.