How can flu affect the elderly?

27 May 2016
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Category: Mild Sickness
27 May 2016, Comments: 0

The elderly is the age group that is at high risk for complications and even death from the flu. Adults over 65 years old typically suffer from flu complications such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Remember that the elderly is more likely to be hospitalized or even die from other illnesses.

What are the symptoms?

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Lethargy and exhaustion
  • Runny nose or congestion
  • Headache
  • Body aches

Some individual can suffer from diarrhea or vomiting while suffering from the condition but it is considered uncommon.

What are the possible complications of flu?


Pneumonia is one of the most prevalent and serious complication of the respiratory illness that occurs among the elderly.

The elderly is likely to end up with complications of the condition than the younger population. Most of the reported cases of deaths occur among those over 65 years old. In addition, most who are hospitalized due to flu are included in this age group.

Pneumonia is one of the most prevalent and serious complication of the respiratory illness that occurs among the elderly. The condition can rapidly develop and becomes severe among those who could not fight off the infection. Among old individuals with the condition, a doctor should be consulted if chest pain is present or a cold that persists for more than 2 weeks.

Preventive measures

The ideal way for the elderly to avoid acquiring the condition is via the flu shot. The customary shot and the latest high-dose flu vaccine are readily available for the elderly.

In case the flu shot is not an option, antiviral medications can be given to help the elderly avoid the illness. Since these are only available by prescription, a doctor should be consulted.

Remember that daily precautions for staying healthy are vital for the elderly which includes the following:

  • Regular hand washing
  • Avoiding exposure to individuals who are sick
  • Avoid touching the eyes, mouth and eyes

This respiratory condition is a serious illness that should not be set aside as a bad cold. The condition is even more serious and life-threatening for the elderly. For those over 65 years old or caring for one, it is vital to protect the body against the flu.

If an individual suspect that he/she has the flu, a doctor should be consulted right away to determine the ideal course of treatment.

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