How to keep senior citizens safe from the flu? The United States is experiencing the greatest rates of flu-related hospitalizations in more than a decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 4.4 million people had the flu as of Nov. 18; 38,000 were hospitalized, and 2,100 perished. The greatest risk currently is to older persons, whose hospitalization rates are almost twice as high as those of the general population.
As COVID-19 and RSV continue to threaten our communities, family medicine and geriatrics specialist Dr. Kaveh Bahmanpour says it’s more crucial than ever to protect yourself from the flu. His top piece of advice was to get immunized.
Here, Dr. Bahmanpour responds to frequently asked questions about the current flu season and discusses ways that senior citizens can guard against infection and serious illness.
- 1 Can I Still Get Vaccinated Against the Flu?
- 2 Is There Truly A Difference In The “Senior Flu Vaccine”?
- 3 What Other Preventative Measures Are There?
- 4 Are There Any Natural Treatments That Will Help Me Feel Better If I Have The Flu?
- 5 When Should I Visit a Hospital for Care?
Can I Still Get Vaccinated Against the Flu?
No, you still have time to get it. It’s preferable to receive your annual flu shot now rather than later.
Is There Truly A Difference In The “Senior Flu Vaccine”?
For those aged 65 and above, high-dose flu vaccines have been recommended. The vaccine’s larger antigen dose is designed to boost older persons’ immune responses and, as a result, their protection against the flu.
What Other Preventative Measures Are There?
To help avoid the flu this season, follow these recommendations in addition to getting vaccinated:
Don’t Get Too Close
Avoid getting too near to sick people. When you are ill, keep your distance from other people to prevent spreading your illness to them.
When You’re Sick, Stay at Home
When you are sick, try avoiding going to work, school, or errands. This will lessen the chance of infecting others with your disease.
Put Your Nose and Mouth Covered
When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Flu viruses are primarily spread through droplets made when infected people cough, sneeze, or talk.
Wash Your Hands
Regular hand washing will aid in keeping you germ-free. Use an alcohol-based hand rub in the absence of soap and water.
Do Not Touch Your Lips, Nose, Or Eyes
When someone touches something contaminated with germs and subsequently contacts their eyes, nose, or mouth, the germs can be transferred.
Develop Additional Healthy Habits
When someone is ill, especially, clean and disinfect regularly touched surfaces at home, work, and/or school. Get enough rest, engage in physical activity, control your stress, hydrate well, and consume wholesome foods.
Are There Any Natural Treatments That Will Help Me Feel Better If I Have The Flu?
Rest and fluids are the main treatments for the flu because they allow the body to fight the illness on its own. Anti-inflammatory painkillers sold over the counter may aid with symptoms. But it’s crucial to keep in mind that being vaccinated annually helps avoid the flu and its complications.
When Should I Visit a Hospital for Care?
If you have the flu and are exhibiting any of the following symptoms, see a doctor right away:
- Respiratory issues or lack of breath
- Chest or abdominal tightness or ache
- Sudden fainting or recurring fainting spells
- Vomiting that is severe or ongoing
During the months when the virus is most widespread, getting vaccinated and taking precautions will help keep everyone healthier, says Dr. Bahmanpour. “Protect your loved ones and yourself.”