With aging many changes happen including, reduction in our immune response, specially for the older elderly. Making them more susceptible to various diseases and infections as well as recovery longer. Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is one such infection that poses a significant threat to older adults.
In this blog post, we will discuss the risks, complications, and prevention strategies related to influenza and the elderly.
Influenza and the Elderly: Risks
Additionally, certain underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) increase the risk of influenza-related complications in older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults aged 65 and older account for the majority of influenza-related hospitalizations and deaths.
Influenza and the Elderly: Complications
Influenza can lead to severe complications, especially in older adults. Pneumonia, bronchitis4, and sinus infections are common complications that can arise from the flu. Additionally, influenza can exacerbate existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, and lead to hospitalization and even death.
Influenza and the Elderly: Prevention Strategies
Vaccination is one of the most effective way to prevent influenza in the elderly population. The CDC recommends that all adults aged 65 and older receive a yearly influenza vaccine. The vaccine can reduce the risk of hospitalization and death related to the flu. Older adults should also take precautions such as washing their hands frequently, avoiding close contact with sick people, and staying home if they feel unwell.
It’s important for older adults to seek medical attention if they develop flu-like symptoms. Antiviral medications can reduce the severity and duration of influenza symptoms, but they must be administered within the first 48 hours of symptom onset.
In conclusion, influenza is a serious threat to the elderly population. Vaccination and taking necessary precautions can significantly reduce the risk of infection. If you’re an older adult or have an elderly loved one, make sure to take steps to protect them from influenza and its potential complications.
Seek suggestions from your friends and family regarding the GP they consult. Any doctor friend or medical professional can also recommend a qualified and experienced GPs with particular specialisations.
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