Facts About Seniors Who Get The Flu

Did you know these 6 facts about seniors who get the flu?

  • People 65 years and older are at greater risk of serious complications from the flu because human immune defenses become weaker with age.
  • People 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease. In recent years, for example, it’s estimated that between 71 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older.
  • Between 54 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in that age group. So influenza is often quite serious for people 65 and older.
  • Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • It has been recognized for many years that influenza is underreported on death certificates and patients aren’t always tested for seasonal influenza infection, particularly the elderly who are at greatest risk of seasonal influenza complications and death. Some deaths – particularly among the elderly – are associated with secondary complications of seasonal influenza (including bacterial pneumonias).
  • Influenza virus infection may not be identified in many instances because influenza virus is only detectable for a short period of time and/or many people don’t seek medical care until after the first few days of acute illness.

Tips to Protect Seniors

Please help us protect our vulnerable seniors who are at greater risk of severe flu, hospitalization, and even death, by doing the following:

  • Stay home if you experience flu-like symptoms until 24 hours after symptoms and fever are gone without the use of Tylenol or Motrin.
  • Wash your hands or use hand gel when you enter or leave any patient area.
  • Avoid visiting residents who have influenza; check with staff for information about when visiting can safely be resumed. You are at risk of exposing yourself and others to the virus.

    For more information please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) article: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/65over.htm