Remember the flu? Considering that we’ve been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020, it’s understandable if you’ve put influenza on your mental back burner.
The flu has not only been out of mind, but it’s also been largely out of sight. Between September 2020 and August 2021, there were a little over 2,000 cases of influenza in the US, according to the CDC. In a typical flu season, the US sees more than 200,000 cases in that same time frame. This decline was largely due to protective measures that were taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
While that’s positive news, last year’s hiatus from the flu has many experts concerned about what this year might bring. With protective measures being more relaxed and the lack of exposure to the flu during last season, we might be more susceptible to the virus when it returns. Older adults may be especially at risk.
At The Wildwood Senior Living, we all play a vital role in preventing the spread of influenza. The best way to protect yourself and prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated. While all age groups over six months remain priorities for vaccination, additional emphasis this flu season will be on adults at higher risk from COVID-19 complications. This includes adults with underlying illnesses and those considered to be immunocompromised.
It is important for our residents to receive the flu shot as older adults with underlying conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease are at highest risk for developing life-threatening complications from the flu. Studies and scientists are predicting the flu virus is going to be higher this year.
While each flu season differs in severity, during most seasons, people 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of disease. This increased risk is due in part to declines in immune response with age. Older adults with chronic conditions, like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease, such as asthma or COPD are at highest risk for developing serious issues from the flu.
The best way to prevent the flu and stop the spread is through proper and frequent hand washing, wearing masks when indoors, and isolating when feeling sick.
The Wildwood is going to have a fun event day at the Flu Clinic. We are teaming up with the Resident Services and Culinary departments to have some yummy food with creative activities happening.
Every one of us plays a vital role in preventing the spread of influenza. To offer protection to our residents in the most convenient manner, communities have begun planning their Annual Flu Vaccine Clinics. We are encouraging all eligible individuals to receive this year's preventive vaccination. If you are unsure if you should receive the vaccine, please consult with your physician or healthcare provider.