When the weather becomes cool and the leaves start to change, we begin to change into jackets and mittens. But we should also change our habits surrounding infectious respiratory diseases, such as influenza. Influenza, commonly called the flu, circulates more rapidly in the colder months and is especially hard on seniors. This is illustrated by the CDC’s statistic that “…between 70-percent and 85-percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older…”
Anyone who is over 65-years-old or knows someone who is over 65 should learn as much as they can about the flu to protect themselves and the ones they love. In this article, we’ll talk about flu symptoms, causes, treatments, and the best ways to prevent catching it in the first place.
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Symptoms: Fever, Chills, Cough, & More
Influenza causes fever, chills, body aches, headaches, and many times a cough. Its symptoms come on fast and furious. Many people who have had the flu describe it as getting hit by a bus. Seniors have weaker immune systems than adults, making it more likely that their symptoms will be more pronounced.
A cold can easily be confused with the flu. The major differences between the two are that a cold’s onset is gradual. Also, the symptoms of a cold are less severe. Those suffering from a cold are more likely to have a runny nose than those with the flu.