The flu is always more dangerous to those 65 and older, but it is worse this year because the prevalent flu strain is especially dangerous to older people, a USA Today report says.
That prevalent flu strain, H3N2, has not circulated much since 2005, so people have little immunity to it unless they were vaccinated this year.
But it's not too late to get a flu shot, the report says, and several more weeks of the flu season are still ahead.
If people, especially the elderly, start to feel ill, they should contact their doctor quickly, Michael Jhung, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in the report. Antiviral drugs, taken within 48 hours of the onset of the flu, are helpful in preventing complications and keeping people out of the hospital, he added.
If you're considering getting a flu shot, here are some places in Athens offering the vaccine:
The Clarke County Health Department
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following information:
- Who should get vaccinated
- When to get vaccinated
- Selecting a flu vaccine
- Symptoms, complications and severity
- Treatment if you get the flu
- How flu spreads