The flu can be uncomfortable, at best, but it can also be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] so far this season there more than 13 million people have been sick with flu, at least 5,900,000 people have been to the doctor because of flu, more than 120,000 people have been hospitalized because of flu and more than 6,600 have died.”
Dan Weber, president of the senior advocacy organization, the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], is advising its membership and older Americans, at large, to get a flu shot if you haven’t already done so.
“It’s not too late. The flu season is not over yet and the CDC says it can last for several more months,” Weber warns. He points out that 53% of flu victims are 65 years old or older, noting that Medicare covers 100% of the cost.
“Even if your physician does not take Medicare, there are alternatives. Most drug stores, particularly the major pharmacy chains, including CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid, offer Medicare-covered flu shots. And, free or low-cost shots are available at local clinics and public health facilities.”
Weber adds, if you or someone in your family does come down with the flu, take precautions by following guidelines recommended by the CDC:
- In addition to vaccination and the appropriate use of antiviral drugs, the CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as germs spread this way.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to correct the number of people hospitalized due to influenza. The original article stated that 120 million people had been put in hospital.
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