If you’ve watched the news, picked up a newspaper, or even spent a little time on social media lately, you’ve heard of the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are on high alert because of the speed with which the virus spreads. Hundreds of people have died from the virus, which is certainly alarming. However, experts say that people in the United States should worry more about the flu virus than the Wuhan coronavirus.
According to Dr. William Schaffner, who is quoted in an article posted on WebMD, “When we think about the relative danger of this new coronavirus and influenza, there’s just no comparison. Coronavirus will be a blip on the horizon in comparison. The risk is trivial.”
Because the flu season occurs every year, it has become commonplace, so it doesn’t get the kind of attention this new coronavirus has been getting. But, the truth is, so far this flu season, 13 million people in the United States have gotten the flu, 120,000 people have been hospitalized, and 6,600 have died.
Preventing the Flu
Sadly, many people still don’t take the flu very seriously. Despite the fact that it can be deadly, fewer than half of all adults in the U.S. were vaccinated for influenza last year. That’s too bad because the CDC says that an annual flu vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu. Although there are several different kinds of flu viruses, the vaccination protects against 3 out of 4 of them. The vaccination is reformulated each year to protect against the ones that are predicted to be the most prevalent.
In addition to your older family member being vaccinated, there are additional steps that can prevent the spread of germs, such as:
- Avoid: If you know someone has flu symptoms, the older adult should avoid them until they are better. Ask friends and relatives who are ill not to visit until they are healthy again.
- Cover: Your aging relative should use a tissue to cover their mouth and nose when they cough of sneeze.
- Wash: Older adults should wash their hands with soap and water frequently, especially after sneezing or coughing. When soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Senior care can help older adults to avoid getting the flu. If your aging relative hasn’t had their flu vaccination yet, a senior care provider can drive them to the clinic to receive the shot. Senior care providers can also remind the older adult to wash their hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. In addition, the senior care provider can wipe down surfaces in the house that could carry flu germs, such as faucets, countertops, and doorknobs.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Senior Care in Simpsonville, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.