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Influenza

It’s been known for several years that people 65 years of age and older are at higher risk of severe complications from the flu in comparison to young, healthy adults since human immune defenses become weaker with age. While flu seasons can vary in severity, during many seasons, people 65-plus bear the greatest burden of acute flu disease. So influenza is often very serious for individuals 65 and older.

Actions to Take This Flu Season:

  1. Get Your Flu Shot

The best way to prevent the flu is with a flu vaccine. CDC recommends that everybody 6 months old and older undergo a seasonal influenza vaccine each year soon after it becomes available, and by October if possible. Vaccination is especially important for older adults because they’re at high risk for complications from flu. Flu vaccines are usually updated to keep up with changing viruses and also immunity wanes within a year so annual vaccination is required to guarantee the best possible protection against influenza.

People 65-plus have just two flu shots available to choose from – a normal dose influenza vaccine and a more recent flu vaccine designed especially for them. (The nasal spray vaccine isn’t approved for use in people older than 49). The “high dose vaccine” contains 4 times the amount of antigen as the normal flu shot and is connected with a stronger immune reaction following vaccination (higher antibody production). Preliminary studies suggest this might translate into greater protection against influenza disease. (The confidence interval for this particular result was 9.7% to 36.5%).

  1. Practice important health habits such as covering coughs, washing hands frequently, and preventing interacting with people that are sick.
  2. Seek medical advice fast if you develop flu symptoms to check whether you may need medical examination or therapy with antiviral drugs. It’s very important that antiviral drugs are utilized early to treat flu in people who are extremely ill with flu (by way of instance, people that are in the hospital), and people who are sick with flu and have a larger chance of getting severe flu complications, like people 65 and older.

Symptoms include flu headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. Individuals may be infected with the influenza and also have respiratory symptoms with no fever.