The CDC advises that: “In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting seasonal flu can get vaccinated. However, certain people should get vaccinated each year either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for high risk persons.
The CDC website has info on H1N1 and is worth everyone looking over: (http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/public/vaccination_qa_pub.htm)
A person who has Bulimia, i.e., who is at normal or above average weight and is not in a restrictive phase (and losing weight and nutritional status), is probably not at greater risk (again, that is assuming nothing else is complicating her medical stability, such as Diabetes, or is on steroids, etc.).
But if anyone with an eating disorder is dropping weight rapidly, has a low BMI, whether they have been labelled “Bulimia,” or “ED-NOS”, or not, then they may be at increased risk, irrespective of their age. If they have other medical issues ongoing, such as Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, bad asthma and are on oral steroids, inflammatory bowel disease, and such, then they are likely at greater risk if they get either flu, but especially the swine flu. It is recommended to ALL Anorexia patients that they receive the vaccines (both) as soon as possible.
The unfortunate thing is that the vaccine is difficult to get at this time due to short supply. Here is how CDC has recommended who gets the H1N1 first (also from that webpage):
“the committee recommended that the following groups receive the vaccine before others: pregnant women, people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age, health care and emergency medical services personnel with direct patient contact, children 6 months through 4 years of age, and children 5 through 18 years of age who have chronic medical conditions.”
So, you physicians and nurses and such out there need to get it soon, if you can–not because we are at greater risk necessarily from the infection, but because we are more likely to be exposed. Several who have gotten it and have said it is the worst they have ever felt in their life, but my friend’s daughter had it and was started on antiviral within 48 hours and was not too ill.
Regarding treatment for those who get flu symptoms, see: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/recommendations.htm
The key is to get treatment started as soon as possible, for those especially at greater risk of complications.