50 Years - Celebrating A Blessed Heritage 1971 - 2021!

Flu Season is Just Around the Corner

fight the flu

by Stephany Litcher

Getting a flu shot each year is a good idea for everyone, but it is even more important for seniors over the age of 60. Increased vulnerability to the virus and increased risk of complications make it imperative that seniors take every precaution to avoid getting the flu and the vaccination is the best form of prevention.

Influenza, or the flu as it's more commonly known, is a viral illness that affects the respiratory system and can be easily spread from person to person. 

Flu season occurs during the time of year when the virus can travel from person to person with the most efficiency. Colder temperatures typically facilitate easier transfer and the season usually lasts from October to May, with its peak occurring between December and February.

How is it spread?

Those with the flu can spread it to others when they cough or sneeze. The influenza virus is contained in droplets from the throat and nose.  These droplets can travel through the air via coughing, sneezing and talking, or they can collect on an object touched by an infected person.

What are the signs and symptoms of Influenza?

· Fever

· Headache

· Tiredness

· Runny or stuffy nose

· Body aches

· Sore throat

Symptoms usually start 1-4 days after breathing in flu virus droplets. 

What are the treatment options?

· Antibiotics do not work against the flu.  Most people with the flu will get better on their own without medicine.

· Prescription medications called influenza antivirals can help treat the flu. 

How can it be prevented?

1. Get the flu shot each fall. Flu strains mutate and differ from year to year so last year’s flu vaccine will not protect from this year’s strain of the flu. In addition, even though the vaccine is not 100% effective, it is still considered to be 70-90% effective, which means the majority of people who receive the vaccine will be protected.

2. Wash your hands often with soap and water.  Use hand sanitizer if you do not have soap and water.

3. Use a tissue to cover your nose or mouth when you cough or sneeze.  If no tissue available, cough and sneeze into your sleeve.

4. Do not share drinking cups, straws, or eating utensils.

What to do if you start feeling ill?

· Notify one of our caregivers or nurses immediately.  We will work with your physician on the best course of treatment.

· Stay in your room until you are feeling better

· Get plenty of rest

· Drink lots of fluids

Senior living communities can be greatly affected by the spread of influenza. If one person contracts the flu, it could quickly spread throughout the community and jeopardize the wellbeing of many others.

Source: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/dph/bcd.htm