The flu season is behind and people over the age of 65 are at higher risk of serious flu complications, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
According to the CDC, it is estimated that between 70 and 85 percent of seasonal influenza-related deaths occurred in people over the age of 65, and between 54 and 70 percent of seasonal influenza-related hospitalizations occurred in group-age individuals.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommend that Medicare beneficiaries receive a flu vaccine each year as the virus changes year by year.
The vaccine is free for people with Medicare once a flu season, as long as the doctor accepts Medicare.
The seasonal flu vaccine protects against influenza viruses, which are the most prevalent research findings in the coming season. For the flu season 2018-2019 there are several options for flu vaccines.
Although the vaccine is important every year to prevent the flu, the CDC recommends the following health habits to avoid flu:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. It can prevent your environment from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are spread through coughing, sneezing or impure hands.
- Avoid close contact with sick persons. When you are ill, keep your distance from others to protect them from disease.
- If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are ill. This helps to prevent your illness from being transmitted to others.
- Wash your hands often. This will protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand cleanser.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, at work or at school, especially if you are ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, cope with stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods.