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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: 4086

Reported Deaths: 151
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah110359
Marion93125
Washington71517
Clackamas30411
Deschutes1210
Linn1159
Umatilla1143
Polk9811
Yamhill697
Lane672
Jackson650
Benton555
Clatsop450
Klamath410
Malheur330
Coos310
Douglas250
Jefferson250
Josephine251
Wasco211
Columbia160
Hood River130
Morrow120
Lincoln100
Crook60
Curry60
Union60
Tillamook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 103813

Reported Deaths: 3993
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles498602241
Riverside7341313
San Diego7100260
Orange5744142
San Bernardino4914190
Alameda309794
Santa Clara2701140
San Francisco243740
San Mateo202282
Kern200737
Tulare183580
Fresno165832
Santa Barbara163612
Imperial144326
Contra Costa138437
Sacramento134956
Ventura106232
San Joaquin84235
Kings7043
Stanislaus68328
Sonoma5304
Solano50922
Monterey4699
Marin43614
Merced2807
San Luis Obispo2681
Yolo20723
Santa Cruz2062
Placer1969
Napa1113
Humboldt983
Madera942
San Benito852
El Dorado840
Del Norte440
Sutter422
Nevada411
Butte400
Shasta374
Mono351
Yuba281
Mendocino250
Lake230
Inyo191
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Glenn140
Amador100
Siskiyou60
Colusa50
Lassen50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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