HE FLU is nothing to sneeze at. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 200,000 people will be hospitalized this year with the influenza virus, and it has been estimated that 50 to 70 percent of those hospitalized are people age 65 and older.
Seniors are especially susceptible due to a weakened immune system and the potential for complications; however, the flu vaccine can significantly reduce one’s risk of contracting influenza. Those 65 and older have the option to receive a regular-dose flu vaccine or a higher-dose flu vaccine. Since the flu is extremely contagious and can be transmitted before symptoms start to show, it’s important for seniors to ask loved ones to get vaccinated, too.
It is also recommended that high-risk populations, such as those under two years old or over 65 years old, treat symptoms early by taking antiviral drugs. While there is no cure for the flu, drugs such as Tamiflu or Relenza can shorten the duration of symptoms and may help avoid complications.
Finally, one of the easiest ways to avoid spreading the flu is by practicing good hygiene, including frequent hand washing and covering your cough or sneeze.
Most seasonal flu activity happens between October and May, peaking in January and February. At Trinity Medical Group, we are committed to protecting you and your family from the flu with flu shots. Contact us at (863) 299-2636 to request an appointment to receive your flu shot, and reach out to us right away if you are experiencing symptoms.
This column is sponsored by Trinity Medical Group.
column by DR. ADAM PARKER
BIO: Adam Parker, DO is a board-certified and licensed family practitioner in the state of Florida. He is also a licensed Doctor of Osteopathy — manipulative medicine and techniques that have been shown to improve treatment results for a range of problems when used in conjunction with traditional surgery and prescriptions. In addition to his work at Trinity Medical Center, Dr. Parker is a physician at Lakeland Regional and Bartow Regional hospitals.