It may not be obvious why diabetes and influenza are related, but they are. One disease has to do with blood sugar and the other is an infection caused by a virus. They are related, however, and not in a good way.
People with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes who get the flu are at increased risk of hospitalization and death. The CDC says they are almost 3 times more likely to die of influenza. Diabetes can weaken your immune system, allowing the virus to damage your lungs more severely. A recent study of patients who became severely ill with influenza H1N1 showed that diabetes was the fourth most common risk factor, behind lung disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.
What should you do right now to protect yourself from influenza if you have diabetes?
First, get both the H1N1 and the seasonal influenza vaccines. Get the injection version, not the intranasal version. You are in a high-risk priority group for both vaccines, so you should be among the first to get it when it is available.
Second, if you think you are getting influenza (fever, headache, fatigue, etc), call your doctor immediately. Your doctor should consider starting you on antiviral treatment.
Third, take care of yourself during the influenza season. Take your diabetes drugs consistently, monitor your blood glucose and urine ketones frequently to keep them in the proper range, watch your diet and fluid intake, keep up your exercise and sleep habits, wash your hands frequently and try to stay away from people who might be sick. Ask the people you live and have close contact with to get the flu vaccines too, because they can protect you from getting the disease.
These are all normal, common-sense things you can do to protect yourself. If you can successfully live with diabetes, you can protect yourself from influenza.