The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that seniors who receive flu treatment can minimize hospital time. In their latest press release, the CDC noted that seniors over the age of 65 are at the highest risk of complications related to the flu. In the study, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, their findings support that flu treatment can shorten hospital time and reduce the need for extended care.
Their study showed that seniors who received flu treatment within four days of the onset of illness had shorter hospital times than those who received treatment after four days. The CDC also reported that 80 to 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in seniors over 65, and thus they recommend treatment right away when a senior enters a hospital with the flu.
For the study, data was collected through three consecutive flu seasons between 2010 and 2013 from over 250 hospitals in 13 states. Although flu seasons may differ for seniors, receiving the flu shot and taking preventative measures to prevent the flu can be a useful means to reduce the rate of illness among the prone population.
Why seniors are at risk of flu
As we continue to age our immune system begins to weaken, making us more prone to illness, which is why seniors are at higher risk for the flu. Although the flu can be a nuisance to younger, healthier individuals, for seniors contracting the flu virus can potentially be deadly.
Symptoms and warning signs of flu in seniors
Symptoms of flu in seniors are similar to flu symptoms in those of all ages. Flu symptoms include:
- Aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Stomach issues – diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
Complications of the flu can bring on pneumonia, dehydration, worsening of preexisting chronic conditions and trouble breathing.
Flu prevention tips for seniors
The flu is very preventable, and the easiest way to prevent the flu in seniors is by receiving the flu shot. For seniors specifically there is a high dose flu shot available to support their weakened immune systems. Other means of prevention involve practicing healthy habits like washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough and avoiding those who may be sick.
Lastly, the moment the onset of flu symptoms appear, seek out medical treatment to minimize the duration of the illness – as suggested by the recent CDC study.
There is a big difference between getting influenza – the flu – when you’re in your 20s than when you’re over 65. As a young adult, the flu can leave you down and out for a few days, closely acquainted with the bathroom. But for seniors, the impact can be much more severe. Continue reading…
Influenza, or the flu, typically is transmitted through the air by coughs or sneezes, creating an aerosol that contains the virus. It can also be transmitted by direct contact with nasal secretions, or through contact with contaminated surfaces. So if someone has blown their nose, they could have it on their hands and spread it when touching elevator buttons, hand railings and so on. Continue reading…