Risk Factors for Viral Upper Respiratory Infections (Colds and Influenza)
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop a
The vast majority of the population in any given area may get colds or influenza during the course of a year. The average rate for adults in the US is three or four infections per person per year. Children get even more.
Risk factors include:
Colds and influenza are passed through person-to-person contact, so people who do not
People in crowded living conditions are at an increased risk, as well.
People who have certain medical conditions are at a higher risk for complications. Examples include:
- People who are sick
- People who have cardiac, respiratory, or kidney disease
- People who have suppressed immune systems
- Women who are pregnant
Children and the elderly are at increased risk for complications.
People with physical or mental disabilities may have trouble practicing preventive measures, and they may not be able to easily communicate their symptoms. These issues place them at an increased risk for getting sick and for complications.
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Last reviewed July 2010 by
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