There are over three million cases of influenza each year. Influenza, also known as the flu, is a highly contagious respiratory virus that can be deadly in the elderly, young children and individuals with impaired immunity.
The influenza virus infects the nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms usually start suddenly. Influenza is a viral infection, so antibiotics offer no cure. Outbreaks usually happen in the fall and winter months. Every year, there are different strains of influenza. Once contracted, it typically takes seven to ten days before symptoms start to subside. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting an influenza vaccination every year to help prevent the flu.
Influenza can range from mild to severe. Each individual reacts to the flu differently. Elderly people usually have weaker immune systems due to natural aging and a variety of other age-related health issues. These factors can make the symptoms of influenza more severe for seniors. Flu symptoms may impair a senior’s ability to function normally for longer than they would impair a younger person.
Many seniors opt to stay home and not seek medical care at a hospital when they are struck by a bout of influenza. In such circumstances, a senior’s health can take a dramatic turn for the worse. Their temperature can rise, they may have difficulty breathing, weakness could cause a fall, or any variety of emergency situations may happen. In these cases, medical alerts can be used to call for immediate medical assistance. In such a situation, an influenza sufferer may have a hard time reaching a telephone, so medical alerts are highly beneficial.
When influenza strikes, the sufferer may experience a variety of symptoms.
Many seniors will face influenza without the convenience of medical alerts. When facing the often-overwhelming symptoms, there are several things that a senior can do to maintain a certain level of safety and to control symptoms so they do not become overpowering.
Influenza is a severe virus that afflicts the sufferer’s respiratory system. Medical alerts are beneficial for any senior who opts to treat their flu symptoms at home. If, at some point, the senior becomes too sick to cope, they can instantly summon first responders for medical assistance. Influenza should never be taken lightly because the CDC estimates that between 3,300 and 49,000 people die each year as a result of influenza.