Fight the Flu – 3 Easy Steps

Spread the Word…Not the Flu

It’s flu season again and adults over 65 are particularly vulnerable to the flu and its complications.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza is a major cause of hospitalization, disability and even death for older people. Every year about 9 out of 10 flu-related deaths occur in adults over 65. Because the immune system may decline with age, traditional flu vaccines sometimes don’t work as well in elderly people. For these people, a higher-dose version is also available. The higher dose triggers the body to produce more antibodies against the flu virus.

Fight the flu with 3 simple steps:

1. Get flu shots.

A yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important step to protecting not just yourself but those in your care against flu viruses. Both you and the person in your care should be vaccinated, ideally in later summer or fall, before the flu season starts. A yearly vaccine is needed because the flu virus changes year to year; each year’s vaccine is made to protect against the three most common viruses for that year. The most serious complication of flu is pneumonia, so, in addition to age, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, COPD, diabetes or heart disease are at especially high risk.

2. Stop the spread of germs

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and toss it after use.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Hand washing is the NUMBER ONE way to reduce spreading germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least24 hours after your fever is gone(without the use of fever-reducing meds) except to get medical care or for other necessities. While you are sick, it is important to limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

3.Use flu antiviral if a doctor prescribes them.

Prescription antiviral do not prevent or cure the flu. They are sometimes given to make the flu milder and possibly prevent serious complications. They work best if used within 48 hours of first symptoms (cough, sore throat, fever, aches and stuffy/runny nose), but may be given later if the person is very sick or is at high-risk of complications. Antiviral is not  a substitute for the flu vaccine.

fight_the_flu_UR_2009

Source: National Council on Aging; CDC

Heather Martin, CDP
Comfort Keepers
Helping you stay Happier, Healthier & At Home
Serving Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Delta, White Rock and Surrey South of Fraser Hwy
14-1480 Foster Street
White Rock, BC V4B 3X7
Tel: (604) 689-8609/(604)541-8653
Cell: (778) 997-5685
Email: heathermartin@comfortkeepers.ca

 

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