We all know the tell-tale signs: fever, cough, body aches, runny nose, and chills. During this time of year, these symptoms typically mean the flu.
If you're over the age of 65, protecting yourself from the flu is serious business. As we age, our immune systems weaken making to fight illnesses like the flu. In fact, those over the age of 65 are more likely to be hospitalized or die from the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months and older get a seasonal flu vaccine each year. For people 65 years and older, there are two flu shots available. The regular vaccine is still available, but you may want to ask your doctor about the high dose vaccine.
Caregivers are also at high risk for getting the flu, and if not vaccinated can easily spread it. According to the CDC, the flu virus can be spread starting one day before symptoms are even present. Vaccination for caregivers is critical in the effort to keep themselves healthy, but also to keep those they care for healthy.
Regardless of your age, it's also a good idea to remember cover your coughs, wash your hands often and avoid those who are ill. If you start to notice those tell-tale symptoms, call your doctor immediately – there may be medications to help.
You can learn more about the flu by vising the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.