Flu virus could be associated with obesity and is effecting younger adults

By Julianne Mosher,

This year, the cold and flu viruses are hitting younger adults and obese adults compared to previous years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that influenza complications usually occur to individuals above 65 years old.

However, this year reaches a new high with 60 percent of hospitalizations for influenza occurred in adults ages 18-64. Oddly enough, 45 percent of those adults were obese.

The State Column also reports that there was a similar trend during the H1N1 pandemic back in 2009. With 203,000 deaths that year, the CDC claims that the new vaccine prevented roughly 79,000 hospitalizations.

Although the statistics may seem odd comparing the flu with obesity, the CDC is not ready to label obesity a risk factor for the flu. However, during the season in 2009-2010, the CDC originally did not label obesity a risk factor. It wasn’t until March 2010 when morbid obesity was considered a risk factor for hospitalization and death.

This new study also comes with a previous study done earlier this week that it is suggesting that overweight children can lead healthier lives if they avoid obesity before kindergarten.

Nancy Copperman, Director of Public Health Initiatives at North shore-LIJ Health System, said, “We should promote health and healthy behaviors to [new mothers] because having a baby who’s born at a healthy birth weight helps make the baby healthy throughout life.”

This may or may not help prevent the flu as they grow older.

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