Tips for Seniors Looking to Avoid the Flu This Season
As many people have already heard, the strain of the active flu vaccine that is prevalent this season is more dangerous than ever. Many people have been getting very sick this season and babies and seniors are at the highest risk of succumbing to this strain. Unfortunately, while many people have the flu vaccine, this year’s vaccine is only about 25% effective. This can be troubling for any senior looking to stay safe and healthy this season while the flu runs rampant.
While there is no surefire way to completely prevent the flu from taking over, there are things that seniors, and any person can do in order to lessen their chances of getting the flu. Here are just a few things that seniors may want to consider this time of year, while the flu is still being spread around.
Keep Your Immune System Healthy
The more you can do to boost your immune system, the better. Seniors who want to keep their immune systems healthy during cold and flu season should make sure to drink plenty of water and to start adding vitamin C into their daily regimen. Vitamin C is great for boosting the immune system and can not only be found in fruits and vegetables, but in vitamins as well.
Seniors who exercise, should stay with their exercise routine, and make sure they are eating a balanced, healthy diet. All of these things help keep the immune system up and running.
Practice Good Hygiene
Washing your hands may seem like a really small step in staying healthy, but it can really help, especially during flu season. Washing your hands with hot, soapy water several times per day is a great preventative measure to stay safe. If you are out in public in crowded areas, such as shopping malls or grocery stores, make sure to take the time to wash your hands when you leave to keep germs at bay.
Limit Personal Contact
This is an important step for seniors who may already be sick or have weakened immune systems, and while it can be hard it can really help lower your risks of catching the virus. Seniors need to remember that the flu is extremely contagious, so kissing, hugging and shaking hands with others is an easy way to spread the virus.
Don’t Touch the Face
This is something most seniors, and most people in general, don’t realize they are doing. An easy way to spread the virus is to touch your face. Say you pick it up touching a vending machine with your hand. If you then put your hand near your mouth, you are quickly transferring the virus and are much more likely to get sick.
The more healthy steps you can take this time of year to help lessen your chances of getting the flu, the better. Remember, the flu is still active and it can be caught at any time of the year, so seniors will need to continue to stay safe even after the winter has passed.
- Kimberly Langdon M.D. is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place for her senior research project and placed in the 98th percentile on the national exam for OB/GYN residents in the U.S..
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