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Cold and Flu Season Brings Added Danger for Elderly

While some of us welcome the beauty of the crisp winter season, enduring the ‘cold and flu’ season that comes along with it is typically not as welcome.

Posted: Feb 6, 2018 7:33 AM

CLEVELAND – While some of us welcome the beauty of the crisp winter season, enduring the ‘cold and flu’ season that comes along with it is typically not as welcome.

According to Ronan Factora, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, cold and flu season can be downright dangerous for the elderly.

He said the flu, especially, is associated with a higher risk of hospitalization and death for those over the age of 65.

“Once you do actually recover from the flu it is not an uncommon complication for people to develop a pneumonia afterwards in the recovery phase and that can lead people to the hospital,” said Dr. Factora.

Dr. Factora said the best way to protect against the flu is to get an annual flu vaccine.

He said this year has been especially difficult because the flu season started early and has been impacted by a strain of the virus that has proven difficult for the vaccine to combat.

But even those who have had the vaccine and are worried about its effectiveness, or for those who haven’t been vaccinated, there are some things that they can do to help protect against illness.

Dr. Factora said the best thing to do is practice good hand hygiene and to steer clear of others who show symptoms of cold or flu.

“It’s best to just stay away from individuals who appear ill,” he said. “It’s a good idea to keep on washing your hands and use hand sanitizer. If you have cold symptoms, make sure to cough into your sleeve, bring tissues and make sure you throw those away after using them.”

Dr. Factora said it’s common for people who become ill after age 65 to notice that it takes longer to recover from an illness than when they were younger.

Also, having certain medical conditions may make it more difficult to fight off cold and flu bugs.

“If you have conditions like emphysema, or if you have diabetes, you could be more pre-disposed to illness,” said Dr. Factora. “If you’ve been having problems with maintaining your weight, and you’re losing weight – malnutrition can be a pre-disposing factor to getting ill as well.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31865

Reported Deaths: 539
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7022136
Marion456992
Washington441759
Umatilla293941
Clackamas234661
Malheur158926
Jackson11094
Lane109616
Deschutes79312
Yamhill75013
Jefferson5218
Polk51515
Linn49513
Morrow4946
Lincoln47613
Union4392
Benton2946
Klamath2792
Wasco2793
Hood River2490
Douglas2244
Josephine1952
Columbia1551
Coos1490
Clatsop1310
Baker922
Crook621
Tillamook510
Curry310
Lake290
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant90
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 799516

Reported Deaths: 15393
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2644146455
Riverside578831179
San Bernardino53359918
Orange526221182
San Diego45596773
Kern31712360
Fresno28019362
Sacramento21872399
Alameda20951397
Santa Clara20756304
San Joaquin20126437
Stanislaus16436345
Contra Costa16238204
Tulare15829259
Ventura12591146
Imperial11741317
San Francisco1094699
San Mateo9714144
Monterey970170
Santa Barbara8973113
Merced8828140
Kings756977
Sonoma7262120
Marin6641114
Solano627863
Madera445865
Placer353544
San Luis Obispo347929
Butte279043
Yolo278255
Santa Cruz22949
Sutter168911
Napa165313
San Benito132111
Yuba11367
El Dorado10884
Mendocino89418
Shasta75916
Lassen7360
Glenn5713
Tehama5334
Lake53011
Nevada5286
Colusa5246
Humboldt4967
Calaveras31414
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
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