What Seniors Need to Know About Influenza

The flu season is here once again. Though healthcare providers recommend that adults of all ages receive an influenza vaccination , seniors in particular are cautioned to get immunized each year. Given that this year’s flu has reached epidemic proportions across the United States, individuals 65 years old and older should not hesitate to get their vaccinations as soon as possible.

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  Risks of Influenza

Seniors are strongly advised to get a flu immunization for several reasons. First, the body’s immune system begins to deteriorate as part of the aging process. As a result, seniors are more likely to contract the flu than other demographic groups. Second, because of their compromised health, seniors are more susceptible to experiencing complications from the flu. Secondary illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia can often accompany influenza in older people.

Protection from Influenza

Seniors can choose one of two different influenza vaccinations. They may get the regular dose shot that is provided to other adults, or they may select the high-dose vaccination, which can potentially bolster their immune response. In general, healthcare providers recommend the high-dose immunization, but before you receive your flu shot, consult with a physician regarding the appropriate vaccination for your healthcare needs.

Treatment for Influenza

Nine out of 10 Americans who die from influenza are over the age of 65, which is why you should seek immediate medical treatment if you suspect that you have the flu. The flu can take its toll on even the healthiest individuals, so don’t assume that you can fight it off on your own. In some cases, doctors may administer antiviral drugs because older individuals typically experience more dire consequences when afflicted with the flu. If you’re not sure whether you have the flu, contact a healthcare provider to be certain.

MountainView Hospital Las Vegas provides flu prevention and treatment services for patients in the greater Las Vegas area. To help determine if your symptoms indicate the presence of influenza, take advantage of our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral system. When in doubt, call (702) 233-5474 to speak with a healthcare provider about your condition.

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