School is back in session in most places, and the cold and flu season is almost here. We all need to be aware, but people with diabetes need to be extra vigilant. Those with diabetes, even when well-managed, are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu. In recent seasons, about 30% of adults hospitalized with the flu had diabetes. [1]

When a diabetic has the flu, it can make it difficult to control blood sugar and it is harder for the immune system to fight off infections caused by the flu or diabetes. [2]

The CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months old gets a seasonal flu vaccine each year. [3] The flu vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of getting sick with the flu, as well as lowering the risk of serious complications.

Flu is different from a cold in that the flu usually comes on suddenly. Some of the symptoms to be aware of are:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue (tiredness)

If these symptoms cause concern and there is any kind of another health issue that could place someone at risk of developing more serious complications, it is recommended that they contact a care provider.

[1] Blumenshine  P, Reingold  A, Egerter  S, Mockenhaupt  R, Braveman  P, Marks  J.  Pandemic influenza planning in the United States from a health disparities perspective. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008;14(5):709-715. doi: 10.3201/eid1405.071301.

[2] Influenza (Flu). [Internet] Available from:

[3] Seasonal Flu Vaccines [Internet] Available from: