Tips to prevent Swine Flu in Senior Citizens

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Apr 14, 2011

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Those aged 65 years and older are considered as seniors here. Seniors have been less affected by H1N1 virus as compared to the seasonal flu. The risk of infection in people 65 years and older has been low. The H1N1 virus has affected mostly younger people.


According to recent reports, there have been comparatively few infections and fewer cases of serious illness and death with H1N1 virus in people older than 65. Although the risk of infection in people aged 65 years and older is lower with H1N1 virus, the risk of having severe infection, serious complications and deaths if they are infected is high.


Prevention from H1N1 flu

  • Vaccination: Get flu vaccination for H1N1 flu as it is the best way to protect against the flu (when vaccines are available). Consult your doctor regarding seasonal flu shot as well. Both vaccines are needed to get fully protection against flu.
  • Antiviral Drugs: Influenza antiviral drugs are prescribed by a doctor if the doctor considers that you need them for flu illness. These drugs are second line of defense against treatment of swine flu. Antiviral drugs should be used early to treat flu as they are most beneficial when started within 2 days of sickness and have to be taken for 5 days.

Steps to protect your health

  • Get vaccinated against seasonal flu and H1N1 flu (when vaccines are available) as it is the best way to protect against the flu.
  • Take everyday preventive measures such as washing hands often with soap and water, covering while coughing and sneezing, and cleaning all surfaces.
  • Do not go near a person with flu like illness. Maintain at least a distance of six feet from people who are sick.
  • Remember not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth as infection spreads this way.
  • Monitor your health for fever, other symptoms of the flu and how you are feeling.

Consult your doctor immediately if you are down with flu like illness. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs if required. Antiviral medications should be preferably started within 2 days of sickness as these are most effective when started early. Elderly people are considered on priority basis for antiviral drugs if they become sick with the flu.


Seniors and Antiviral Drugs


Influenza antiviral drugs are recommended drugs such as inhaled powder, pills or liquid which help in treating flu illnesses. These drugs aid in lessening the ability of flu viruses to multiply in the body.


The first and foremost step in order to keep swine fly at bay is to get a flu vaccine each year; the next step being- antiviral drugs which will help in combating the flu.


It is imperative that an antiviral drug is used at its earliest best in order to cure flu illnesses in people who are 65 years or older. For instance, people who are in hospital or people who have been infected with flu. Antiviral drug is also recommended for senior citizens who are more prone to serious flu complications.


Even though senior citizens are less likely to be infected with 2009 H1N1 flu, people who are aged are at greater jeopardy for influenza and related complications. Thus, they are kept in utmost priority for antiviral treatment if at all they get infected with seasonal or swine flu.


Read more articles on Swine Flu (H1N1) Prevention



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