PEOPLE living with diabetes in Dorset are being urged to have their seasonal flu vaccine.

NHS England says people with diabetes are more at risk of developing “serious complications” from a flu infection than people with no underlying health conditions.

Complications can include pneumonia, inflammation of the heart, brain and muscle tissues and even multi-organ failure.

Elevated blood glucose levels, which occur as a natural response to fighting infection, can - if left untreated - become a serious risk to diabetic patients.

Liz Mearns, NHS England Medical Director for the South West said: “It really is important for people with diabetes to make sure they have the free flu vaccine. Having the vaccine is the best way of protecting yourself from contracting the flu virus, and to minimise the risk of developing more serious complications.”

Other people who are deemed to be at higher risk includes people with kidney disease, cancer patients, people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and children up to year five at school.

Patients with diabetes can have the vaccine free of charge at their GP surgery or local community pharmacy.