Information For People at-Risk of Flu-Related Complications

People with certain health conditions may have more severe illness from the flu. Flu vaccination is especially important for people in these groups. Health conditions that increase the risk of flu-related complications include:

  • Pregnancy;
  • Chronic lung diseases (e.g. asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease);
  • Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and kidney, liver, and blood disorders;
  • Neurological and neuromuscular disorders;
  • Weakened immune systems (e.g. from HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy;)
  • Other health conditions.

What You Can Do During a Flu Outbreak

  • Seek medical attention if you have flu-like symptoms.
  • Keep taking any regular medications if you get sick with the flu. Talk with your doctor about having a two-week supply on hand in case you get sick.
  • Limit contact with crowds and crowded spaces and avoid close contact (within six feet) of household members who are sick.
  • Take antiviral medications if recommended and get your seasonal flu vaccine.
  • Keep the following information with you at all times:
    • Your doctor's name, phone number, and address;
    • A written record of your medical condition(s) and current treatment
    • A typed list of all medications taken, the times of day they are taken, any allergies, and any necessary medical supplies and equipment.

Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry

The Rhode Island Special Needs Emergency Registry provides a reliable system for the identification of Rhode Islanders who may require special assistance during emergencies. If needed during a response to a flu outbreak, HEALTH may use the registry to identify high-risk individuals and send emergency alert information to enrollees. Rhode Island adults and children with disabilities, chronic conditions, and special healthcare needs are urged to enroll in the registry.