High dose flu vaccines recommended for seniors

Joe Raedle  Getty Images

Joe Raedle Getty Images

While nearly everyone is at risk of contracting the flu some groups are more susceptible than others like young children, pregnant women, those with medical conditions, and seniors. And it can be deadly. Influenza symptoms are usually worse than a cold and last longer.

Influenza can lead to pneumonia and blood infections.

Treatment of influenza requires drinking lots of water, rest and taking antiviral medicines that can reduce serious complications and deaths, especially for the high-risk groups. People with certain health conditions or weakened immune systems are at greatest risk. Since 2010, 200,000 to 710,000 people have been hospitalized annually due to the flu, and 12,000 to 56,000 died each year too, according to the CDC. The trivalent influenza vaccine for the 2017-2018 flu season includes an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus, an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus, and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus (Victoria lineage).

As a semi-tropical country, seasonal influenza viruses continue to appear throughout the year in the Sultanate.

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Once again, the Webster County Health Unit is urging residents to get an annual influenza vaccination to protect against seasonal flu. About 5 percent to 20 percent of the US population gets the flu each year. Flu vaccine will protect you from certain strains of influenza but it can not prevent flu caused by other virus strains not covered by the vaccine or illnesses that look like influenza, but are not. Flu shots are available at your primary care provider's office and many local pharmacies. Last season, 59% of children between the ages of 6 months to 17 years received a flu shot, as did 43.3% of adults 18 years of age and older.

Flu shots are not flawless, but they are the best protection modern science has against the disease.

State health officials say to help avoid becoming one of those cases in the weeks ahead, you should consider getting a flu shot.

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