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Flu shot extra important if you have diabetes

For many, fall is a time for raking leaves, sitting around the campfire, picking apples and going to corn mazes and pumpkin patches. But don't forget that fall is also the time to get your flu shot. And if you have diabetes, a flu shot is especially important.

This is because if you have diabetes and get influenza, your blood glucoses rise and your recovery time is generally longer. And people with diabetes are about three times more likely to die from the flu and pneumonia than the general population.

If you do develop the flu, despite getting the flu shot, the vaccine will still help you by lowering the risk of more serious respiratory tract involvement and lessening the risk of secondary complications, hospitalization and death.

Contact your doctor, healthcare provider or local health department for dates, times and locations for flu vaccinations. Both flu and pneumococcal vaccination are covered by Medicare part B. Many employers are making flu vaccination available at the workplace, as well.

Remember, flu shots don't contain a live virus, so they can't infect you. Add flu vaccination to your list of routine fall activities.

In addition to the flu shot, to help prevent catching and spreading the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your elbow, or use a tissue, when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home and limit contact with others to avoid infecting them if you do get sick.

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