At one time or another, we’ve all caught the flu. It spreads very easily; often times simply by talking to someone else who has it. But while the flu can’t be stopped in its tracks, there are some ways you can lessen your risk of catching the virus.
Being close to someone who is sick and coughing is probably the number one way the flu is transferred from person to person. Small droplets containing the virus can travel through air and get into the eyes, nose or mouth.
As we age, our immune defenses weaken. People 65 years and older are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu, and symptoms may progress more slowly or last longer compared to young and healthy adults.
There are several tell-tale symptoms of the flu. If you have body aches, a fever, cough and/or sore throat, chances are you have the virus.
Flu prevention can take a number of forms …
- Under the guidance of your physician, see if a flu shot is right for you. Getting a flu shot is important for older adults because they are more susceptible.
- It is also important to stay away from those who are sick. Make sure to wash your hands frequently using soap and warm water, or use anti-bacterial hand gel.
Over the last 30 years, the CDC has measured the number of annual deaths resulting from influenza
among various age groups. For those 65 years and older, the CDC reported an average 5,500 deaths during this time – more than any other age group.
Do all you can not to become a statistic by keeping an eye on your health and any flu-related symptoms. This vaccine locator
tool can be useful in finding flu shot providers in your area. Vaccines are offered in many different locations, including:
- Doctor’s office
- Health department
- College health center
- By your employer in the workplace
Tell us: are you planning to get a flu shot this year? Share your own flu prevention strategy in the comments.