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It’s not too late to Protect Your Loved One from the Flu

February 21st, 2014 · 10 Comments

This afternoon I was reading an article about the rising flu-related deaths among the young, and the article stated that it wasn’t too late to get a flu shot as there was still a month to go in the flu season. The 18 to 64 age group were especially hit, although a growing number of children and teens have died due to complications of the flu.

So, it got me wondering why the elderly didn’t seem to be as strongly hit as the younger people this year. I read about a half dozen articles today and while they don’t always agree on everything, I got a gist of why we elders seem to be handling this season better than those younger than us.

  1. Younger adults and children aren’t seen as needing the flu vaccine as much as the elderly. Many parents don’t bother getting flu shots for their children or even for themselves.
  2. The past several years there has been a strong push toward seniors getting their flu shots. I know whenever my dad or I went to the doctor’s office in the fall the doctor and nurse strongly suggested we get the shot. What really encouraged the elderly to go ahead was that seniors who have Medicare Part B get their flu injections for free.
  3. When people get the flu shot or have the flu they develop a residual immunity from that particular strain of the flu. For example, most flu cases this year (2013-2014) have been from the Swine flu. Most of us will remember how hard we got hit with the Swine flu in 2009. Now, those who either had the flu or received the flu shot that year more than likely have immunity to this year’s strain that others may not – especially the young.
  4. Flu shots don’t always guarantee you will stay healthy. They work about fifty percent of the time. But, you are at least making an attempt to ward off the flu and it is better than not getting immunized at all.
  5. Many times seniors get bronchitis and/or pneumonia complications from the flu. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 90 percent of the hospitalizations that are flu-related and 60 percent of the deaths are age 65 and older.

Side effects of receiving a flu vaccination include:

  1. Soreness at injection site
  2. Low-grade aches and pains
  3. Low-grade fever

Do not take the flu shot if you are already ill. Following a healthy diet plan can help ward off illness. Some believe taking Vitamin D also helps protect seniors from illness.

You can read more about the flu and the risk for seniors at:

Flu.gov

Center for Disease Control

 

 

Tags: Conditions and Diseases · Medical


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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michael Levanduski // Feb 21, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Well written post, thanks! I don’t get the flu shot myself as I’m pretty healthy and I’m not a big fan of the way some of these shots are made. That being said, your post was informative and I appreciate you sharing it!

    Michael

  • 2 Bonnie Gean // Feb 22, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Believe it or not, when I got the flu and it hit me hard on the 2nd day, I gargled with salt water and dipped my fingers into the salt water and inhaled it.

    This made the sore throat disappear and the post nasal drip subsided within a day.

    I got the flu shot this year, but still got the flu! Even so, there are home remedies that you can do that will make you feel better.

  • 3 Prof. B.T. Mienoré (Lynda Lippin) // Feb 24, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    My father got his flu shot religiously every year, and rarely got sick. I was sicker when I took the shot. It’s been about 10 years now, I work with lots of moms who are exposed to flu, and still nothing. Plus I used to react to the shot.

  • 4 Lynda Lippin // Feb 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Whenever I would get a flu shot I would get a large raised red welt at the injection site (apparently an allergy the the albumen – egg – base). And then I would be symptomatic for a few days with fever, aches, chills. Yuck!

  • 5 Edie // Feb 25, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Thank you, Michael. I know there is controversy over whether or not to have a flu shot, but at least they are available for those who do choose to have one. Thanks for your honest comment.

  • 6 Edie // Feb 25, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I’m with you, Bonnie. I’ve used salt water for many years with great affect. I rarely catch cold or have the flu since I started using salt water when I felt something coming on.

  • 7 Edie // Feb 25, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Unfortunately, some people do have adverse reactions and that’s a shame. Best to do what works for you, isn’t it?

  • 8 Edie // Feb 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Lynda, that must make it difficult to decide whether to have a shot or not. Yuck is right!

  • 9 Galina St George // Feb 25, 2014 at 10:05 am

    I am in two minds about flu shots. On the one hand, they probably do help, but on the other hand, they have been said to be ineffective in most cases, since the virus has so many strands, and can mutate quickly. However, I won’t discount flu shots as totally ineffective. Even if they stop some people from suffering and dying, they are probably worth considering.

    Best wishes,

    Galina

  • 10 Edie // Feb 25, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Whether to get a flu shot or not is certainly controversial and not to be taken lightly. Thankfully we have them available when needed, but I realize they are not for everyone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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