The 2017-2018 flu season is just beginning, but early data collections suggest that it will ramp up earlier and be more severe than usual. So warns the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Flu activity increased in November, a month earlier than usual. As of season Week 47 (ending November 25), the most prevalent cases are Influenza A. The most hospitalizations, by far, have been patients over age 65.
Flu: Seniors Get Your Shot
It’s not too late to get a flu shot, experts say. The traditional United States season usually peaks in early January through February, but can last as late as April.
Older adults can consider a high-dose version of the injection specially designed for people age 65 and older. This version, designed for older, less responsive immune systems, contains four times the antigens to trigger a stronger immune response.
Senior living communities usually post awareness posters and hand-hygiene materials for families well before the holidays, when visitations tend to increase. Special precautions are encouraged in units where those with chronic illnesses live and for all common areas.
The vaccine takes about two weeks to take hold in the body and improve the immune system.
FYI, the CDC provides free online information and materials for health professionals, including guidance for residents and family education resources.