Monday, February 4, 2013

Flu Prevention Awareness



The CareLinx Team would like to wish you a Happy New Year! As the New Year rings in, the coming months also bring a rise in seasonal flus and colds.  Some common symptoms of the flu include: fever, chills, congestion, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue. For people over the age of 65, the seasonal flu can cause serious health complications, like bronchitis or pneumonia, that can ultimately land them in the hospital. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) explains that the following medical conditions cause elders to be at a higher risk of flu related complications; diabetes, asthma, heart disease, kidney disorder, liver conditions, neurological conditions, cancer, and HIV.  

CareLinx would like to take this opportunity to encourage our community to protect themselves from the seasonal flu. Some natural ways to prevent the flu include; sleep, hydration, wash of hands on a consistent basis, staying home if you are sick, and a humidifier. In addition, The National Council on Aging (NCOA) recommends that elders get the yearly flu vaccine. As Richard Birkel, PhD and senior vice president of NCOA, states, “Prevention is critically important. Unfortunately, vaccination rates are alarmingly low among older adults. Nearly 30 percent went unvaccinated during the 2011-2012 flu season." People ages 65 and older have two options for vaccines: the first being the traditional flu shot and the second being a higher dose flu shot that aims to address the age decline of the immune system. Both of these vaccines are covered under “Medicare Part B” with no copayment required.  

If you or a loved one has come down with flu like symptoms please contact your healthcare provider. Since those over 65 are more susceptible to the flu, your health care provider may provide antiviral medications to make your symptoms less severe. However, if the illness escalates to any of the following symptoms please seek medical care immediately; difficulty breathing, chest pains, discoloration of the lips, vomiting, dizziness, seizures, or confusion.

Helpful Articles:
To locate the nearest pharmacy that administers flu shots please visit http://flushot.healthmap.org/.

Chronic Health Conditions and Flu: Deadly Combinations

Informational Facts on the Seasonal Flu 

An Understanding of the Different Flu Types

Flu Attacking the Elderly at Historically High Rates

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