Flu vaccination gives seniors needed protection

  • Wednesday, October 30, 2013

For most people, getting the flu means feeling achy and feverish for a week or so, but for people 65 years and older, the flu can be much more serious. People in this age group are at high risk for severe flu illness and complications. In fact, an estimated 60 percent of flu-related hospitalizations in the United States are for people in this age group. While the benefits of flu vaccination can vary – and this is particularly true for those who are 65 and older – studies show that vaccination can provide a range of benefits, including reducing flu illness, antibiotic use, doctor’s visits and lost work. Flu vaccinations have also been shown to help prevent hospitalizations and deaths in this age group in the United States. “Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from flu,” says Lori Mennetti, RN, community resource coordinator for Trident Senior Health Center. Trident Senior Health Center is now offering the seasonal flu vaccination, which is covered fully by Medicare. Appointments are not required but are recommended. To schedule with Trident Senior Health, please call 843-797-0416. Located on the Trident Medical Center campus at 9302 Medical Plaza Drive, Suite C, Trident Senior Health provides comprehensive medical care for adults ages 55 and older. The practice is led by a physician who is board-certified in geriatric medicine. Trident Senior Health also offers special assistance with home health, medications and community resources. The flu season appeared to start early this year with a confirmed case in Charleston County and another in Beaufort County at the beginning of October, according to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. During the 2012-13 flu season, most people were affected in November and December, though the state had a second wave of cases in March. There were 1,720 flu-related hospitalizations for 2012-13 in South Carolina and 46 deaths. With flu, one or more of the following symptoms will come on suddenly, about 48 to 72 hours after contact with the virus: Flu Symptoms Fever (usually high) Headache Extreme tiredness Dry cough Sore throat Runny or stuffy nose Muscle aches Occasionally, especially in children, stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Urgent Warning Signs Adults who experience more serious symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. These include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting. Children may exhibit additional signs of trouble. If a child is breathing fast, having trouble breathing, or has a bluish skin color, get medical help right away. Other serious warning signs not drinking enough fluids, not waking up or interacting and fever with a rash. Callout: “Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from flu.” 0 0 1 450 2570 Summerville Journal Scene 21 6 3014 14.0 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} -Lori Mennetti, RN, Trident Senior Health Center

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