You’re probably aware that the flu season is well underway. Hopefully, your aging relative has had their flu shot. If not, it’s not too late. However, you should also know that there is a “B strain” of flu this year that the vaccine isn’t as effective against. That doesn’t mean older adults can’t take steps to avoid getting the B strain, though.
Facts About This Year’s Flu
The official name of the B strain is B/Victoria. Unfortunately, the vaccine that was created for this year’s flu season is only about 58 percent effective against it. The good news is that it has been more prevalent in children and young adults. That’s a good thing because it means that fewer older adults are getting the flu this year and they are the age group most susceptible to serious complications, including death.
That doesn’t mean there’s no need to worry about the flu this year, though. These facts provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), show that there’s still good reason to take steps to prevent older adults from getting the flu:
- This season, there have already been 9.7 million reported cases of the flu.
- 87,000 people have been hospitalized.
- 4,800 people have died.
- People over the age of 65 were hospitalized more than any other age group.
- The percentage of deaths from flu is 5.8 percent, which is only slightly lower than the 6.9 percent required to declare an epidemic.
Tips for Avoiding the Flu
Even though the flu shot isn’t as effective against the most prominent strain of flu this year, the CDC still recommends that everyone is vaccinated. In addition to getting the flu shot, other things your aging relative can do to avoid getting the flu, including the B strain, are:
Avoid People with Symptoms: Ask people who have been exposed to the flu or who have symptoms to stay away from the older adult. Reschedule a visit when the person feels better.
Protect Others: If the older adult does get the flu, take steps to protect other people from getting it. Remind the senior to cover their nose and mouth when they sneeze or cough. They should also wash their hands frequently.
Keep Surfaces Clean: Use a disinfectant cleaner on surfaces that are touched frequently, like countertops, doorknobs, and faucets.
Senior care can also help your aging relative to avoid getting the flu. Senior care providers can remind the older adult to wash their hands often or use hand sanitizer. They can also keep tissues near the senior, so they can reach one when they need to sneeze or cough. Senior care providers can also keep the house disinfected by wiping down surfaces throughout the day.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Farmington Hills, MI, or the surrounding area, please contact the caring staff at CareOne Senior Care today. Call us at (248) 308-2777.