Updates on Flu Concerns for Seniors

Oct 19th, 2010 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

By now most senior citizens should have received the influenza vaccination.  2010 supplies are available almost everywhere you turn; there is no shortage this year, thanks to better planning strategies and learning from the problems of last year.  In particular drug stores, grocery stores and walk-in clinics offer shots to anyone who makes the request.  Of course, your primary care physician’s office also has them available.

There are some additional suggestions to consider that may help protect you from flu this fall and winter. 

  • When you sneeze, do so in the bend of your arm at the elbow, NOT into your hands.  If you need to wipe or blow your nose, do so in a tissue and then immediately throw it away and wash your hands as soon as possible.
  • Become a frequent hand-washer, just because it is good hygiene.  Be sure you lather your hands well, top and bottom, and count slowly to 20 before you rinse.  If soap is not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you become ill, stay home at least 24 hours after your fever dissipates, except for seeing your doctor if you need to.
  • If you become ill and your doctor prescribes antiviral medication, take it.

The CDC is recommending everyone over six months of age be vaccinated this year.  Be sure to check the CDC site regularly during flu season to identify where flu outbreak has been reported, especially if you are planning travel during this time. 

The flu season last year (2009-2010) saw the first pandemic in more than 40 years; the new virus was 2009 H1N1, and it rapidly spread around the globe.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expects the 2009 H1N1 virus to again spread this upcoming season along with other seasonal flu viruses.  The vaccination available this season protects against three kinds of flu, and every senior citizen needs the protection it offers.



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