Flu Treatment and Prevention
This article was updated on: 09/15/2018
What is the flu?
Influenza, commonly called the “flu” is a viral infection that affects the nose, throat, and lungs, according to the Mayo Clinic. Influenza is not the same as the stomach “flu” which causes diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms of the flu include fever, persistent cough, fatigue, sore throat and nasal congestion. In some cases the flu can have serious complications, including death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Up 85 percent of flu-related deaths occur in people age 65 years and older, according to the CDC.
What are the steps for flu prevention?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the most important step in flu prevention is to get the flu vaccine each year. The CDC reports that 67.2% of adults age 65 and over receive the influenza vaccine each year. However, the CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months of age get a flu shot by the end of October every year. The flu vaccine is updated each flu season to keep up with the changing viruses. Learn more about Medicare coverage of the flu vaccine. The CDC also recommends other steps for flu prevention including frequent hand washing, avoiding people who are sick, and covering coughs and sneezes.
What are the steps for flu treatment?
Most people with the flu can complete flu treatment at home and don’t need to see a doctor according to the Mayo Clinic. For many people, flu treatment is simply resting in bed and drinking plenty of fluids while allowing the body to fight the virus. Some people are at higher risk for flu complications, such as adults older than 65 and people with weakened immune systems, according to the Mayo Clinic. These vulnerable populations may need to take extra steps to seek flu treatment. Some people may need to take an antiviral medication for flu treatment, such as Tamiflu or Relenza. These medications may help shorten your illness with the flu and help prevent serious complications. The CDC recommends that antiviral medications be used for flu treatment as early as possible in people who are very sick with the flu and people who have a greater chance of flu complications.
Do you have more questions about Medicare coverage of flu treatment?
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