Flu Basics for Older Adults

For adults over 65, the flu can be a serious health risk. Between 80 and 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in this age group, as well as 50 to 70 percent of flu-related hospitalizations. The flu is so dangerous to older adults because they are likely to have chronic medical conditions that can be exacerbated by the flu. Serious complications can lead to the need for emergency care as well as worsening of the existing condition. If you are over 65, talk to your doctor about what you can do to lessen your chances of getting the flu, and seek emergency care if you catch the virus and experience complications. Here is what you need to know about this common but dangerous infection.

Flu Shots Are Essential

If you are over 65, consider getting the shot as early in the season as possible. You can get it in your doctor’s offer or request a physician referral for an immunization. Walk-in vaccines are also available at many drug stores. If you are over 65 and have health conditions that make the flu especially dangerous, your physician may talk to you about the high dose flu vaccine. This vaccine has four times the antigen as the regular flu shot, which causes higher antibody production against the flu virus.

Basic Health Protection Works

Taking steps to prevent the spread of germs can lessen your chances of getting the flu. Wash your hands often, especially before eating, and try to avoid people who are sick. Living a healthy lifestyle will keep your immune system functioning at peak level. If you are sick, cover up when you cough and stay home from work.

Emergency Care Is Crucial

If you experience severe symptoms, get emergency care as soon as possible. Often, early treatment can ease the severity of complications and help you get better sooner.

At Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas, you’ll find emergency care ready to meet your needs around the clock. For help managing your flu risk, call us at (702) 233-5300 to request a physician referral.

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