Influenza is a viral infection, and a major cause of death for older people.
Antibiotics have no effect, so prevention is all the more important. Without doubt, the single most effective preventive measure is to have an annual flu injection.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine, by the end of October, as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza and its potentially serious complications.
The National Health Service says: The flu vaccine reduces the risk of catching flu, as well as spreading it to others. It’s more effective to get the vaccine before the start of the flu season (December to March).
A flu injection doesn’t guarantee you’ll be safe from flu, but it improves your odds of avoiding it considerably. Have it in the autumn before the flu season starts.
In the UK, anyone over 65, or with a serious long-term health condition, can have it for free, but if you can’t get it free, then pay for it! It’s a worthwhile investment in your health.
Aside from the flu injection, the CDC has these recommendations for avoiding influenza:
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.
So, what are the priorities for avoiding Influenza?
• Have an annual flu injection in the Autumn
• Avoid close contact with anyone that has symptoms of flu
• Take sensible hygiene measures like washing hands regularly
All the evidence so far in 2020 about the spread of coronavirus (“Covid-19”) is that older people with existing medical conditions are the most vulnerable to dying from this virus. That makes it all the more important to take what steps you can to avoid influenza and pneumonia.
NHS on Influenza: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/
CDC on Influenza: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/prevention.htm
Link to my post on “Pneumonia”