It’s Flu Season
Not only is winter here but cold and flu season is here. The flu is nothing to joke around with and should be taken very seriously no matter what the age is. Flu season can be even more dangerous for older adults because of a weakened immune system. In some cases, the flu can lead to hospitalization or be fatal in older adults.
Flu symptoms in older adults are similar to the ones in any age group.
Symptoms will include:
- Sore throat
In addition to these common signs, nausea, vomiting and other stomach symptoms may occur, but are more common with younger children.
The flu can lead to future problems such as dehydration (see our December Health & Wellness Education topic to learn more about dehydration), pneumonia and asthma. If you feel your symptoms worsen over 3 to 4 days since diagnosis, have trouble breathing with the flu or have chest pain, call you doctor immediately!
There are ways to prevent the flu
Wash your hands and keep hand sanitizer with you. Also make sure to cover your mouth when you sneeze. The best way to prevent the flu is to get your annual flu shot. Older adults can get a flu shot at local drug stores, doctors’ offices and other locations.
CLICK HERE to find where to get a flu shot near you.
The best time to get a flu shot is early September, this gives you time to build up an immunity to the virus. Before you get a flu shot consult with you doctor to make sure a flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu.
If unfortunately, you have gotten the flu the best way to treat it is through lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Ask a doctor or pharmacist before reaching for any over the counter medications. They will make sure they are not harmful or counteract with any current medications you may be taking.