Flu - Complications of flu
NHS Choices Medical Reference
Complications of flu mostly affect people in high-risk groups, such as the elderly, pregnant women and those who have a long-term medical condition or weakened immune system.
The most common complication is a bacterial chest infection. Occasionally, this can become serious and develop into pneumonia.
A course of antibiotics usually cures a chest infection or pneumonia, but it can very occasionally become life threatening, particularly in the frail and elderly.
Other serious complications are uncommon.
Rare complications include:
otitis media - a build-up of fluid in the ear
- septic shock - infection of the blood that causes a severe drop in blood pressure
meningitis - infection in the brain and spinal cord
encephalitis - inflammation of the brain