While the number of people infected year to year varies, up to 40 percent of the entire population in the United States can be infected by the flu each year. Of those, 100,000 to 200,000 will be admitted to the hospital and approximately 36,000 will die. The flu is even more serious in seniors as the rate of hospitalization doubles for people older than 65.
Most people understand the symptoms of the flu. A 100-degree or higher fever. A cough and/or sore throat. Headaches and/or body aches. These symptoms sound a lot like the common cold, but the flu symptoms are more intense than a typical common cold.
Of course, we recommend that if you even think you or a love one have the flu, you should come see a doctor immediately.
But, the flu is fairly preventable with a simple flu shot before the flu season starts in the fall. A flu shot is harmless, does not cause the flu and will stop the flu in more than 60 percent of the people who get the vaccine.
Best part of all? There is no cost at all to the flu shot for Medicare patients!
In addition to the flu shot, here are four other steps to take to prevent the spread of the flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds
- Stay home when you are ill
- Stay away from others you know are ill. If you must visit, stay at least three feet from them.
- Clean frequently, especially door handles, hand rails, eating surfaces and electronics
By following simple steps, you can greatly reduce your chance of getting the flu this year.
Get your flu shot!
It’s your health and your life, so please don’t delay or take unnecessary risk. Flu shots are available at every FPG location and covered under a Medicare plan. Don't hesitate. Schedule an appointment for your flu shot or attend one of our Flu Prevention Day events at an FPG Seniors Club near you. Check the calendar of events for details. You can comment below, or you can chat with us on Facebook and Twitter.