Senior News: Avoiding the Flu
Not only has the flu arrived early this season, but it appears to moving quickly. Seniors are at risk of becoming extremely ill from the flu, so it’s up to us to do everything we can to avoid catching it.
We say this to little kids all the time: “Keep your hands away from your face.” But it’s true. Granted, the flu is respiratory and is generally spread through someone sneezing or coughing near us, but flu germs can live on surfaces. If transferred to our hands and then our face, we can catch the flu.
An important point: People who have the flu can give it to you a whole day before they even know they’re getting sick.
Some hints to avoid the flu:
–Carry hand wipes when you shop. If the store doesn’t have any near the carts, use yours to wipe down the handle and seat before you touch it.
–Use alcohol-based wipes on your phone and doorknobs at home, just in case.
–Stock up on hand sanitizer and keep a small bottle with you when you go out.
–Stay out of stores after school hours when small children might be with their parents.
If you haven’t had a flu shot for some reason, call your doctor and ask if you should have one. Age alone, if you’re over 65, can put you in a high-risk category, and so can any medical condition you might have.
If you do get the flu, ask your doctor about a prescription for an antiviral drug. The drugs work best if started within two days of getting sick. They can make the symptoms a little easier to handle, and they can prevent complications like pneumonia.
Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.