Daily Health Headlines

Seniors Bear Brunt of This Flu Season

👤by Steven Reinberg 0 comments 🕔Friday, March 6th, 2015

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- As the flu season continues to wind down, it's increasingly clear that older Americans have been hit particularly hard, federal health officials reported Thursday.

Not only did record numbers of seniors wind up in the hospital due to the flu, but "this age group also accounts for the majority of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza," researchers wrote in the March 6 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those 65 and older were hospitalized with the flu at five times the rate of all other age groups, accounting for 60 percent of hospitalizations and approximately 79 percent of deaths from the flu or pneumonia, the report found.

As of Feb. 21, hospitalization rates for seniors were the highest -- at 258 per 100,000 people -- since the CDC began compiling such statistics in 2005. By comparison, that rate was 46 per 100,000 for those younger than 5 years old, and 15 per 100,000 for those 18 to 49, the report showed.

This year's flu has also hit the young hard, the agency said, with 92 children dying from complications of flu by Feb. 21. For context, the CDC noted that in an average year, child deaths from flu vary from as few as 30 to as many as 170 or more.

Seniors may have been vulnerable to flu this season because the predominant strain -- H3N2 -- tends to be especially harmful in that age group, Dr. Michael Jhung, a medical officer with the influenza division at the CDC, told HealthDay.

According to Jhung, another reason for the record number of elderly hospitalizations may be that this year's vaccine was not well matched to this year's flu strains, showing only 19 percent effectiveness as of Feb. 21.

"We are seeing more serious illness in elderly folks this year, even more so than in 2012-2013," he said. "That happens every time we have an H3N2 year, and this year happens to be the worst we've seen."

On a more positive note, Jhung said the flu season has peaked, and although several more weeks of flu activity are expected, the season appears to continue to wind down.

Ways to treat and prevent flu from spreading include early treatment with antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza, and washing hands frequently and covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing.

Early treatment with antiviral drugs is especially important for children 2 years and under and adults 65 and older, Jhung said. Others for whom these drugs are essential are people with diabetes, heart disease or breathing problems, he said.

Article Credits / Source

Steven Reinberg / HealthDay

Steven Reinberg wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: March 6, 2015, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Michael Jhung, M.D., medical officer, Influenza Division, CDC

View More Articles From Steven Reinberg 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Cold & Flu Articles

Are You Ready for Flu Season?

Are You Ready for Flu Season?0

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- With flu season right around the corner, U.S. health officials are urging everyone to get their flu shot now so they'll be protected from the potentially serious complications of influenza. "The fact ...

Flu (Influenza)

Flu (Influenza)0

Flu Treatment What to Do if You Get the Flu If you get the flu, there are treatments that can reduce both the intensity and duration of your suffering: Over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, decongestants, and antihistamines ...

Health Tip: Recognize Signs of Strep Throat

Health Tip: Recognize Signs of Strep Throat0

(HealthDay News) -- Strep throat is a contagious infection caused by streptococcal bacteria. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic, which you must finish to make sure the infection is killed completely. The U.S. Centers for Disease ...

Do Your Part to Stop Spreading Colds and Flu

Do Your Part to Stop Spreading Colds and Flu0

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- It's easy to spread germs that cause colds, flu and other serious illnesses, including whooping cough and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). That's why you need to protect yourself and take steps ...

amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag, Larotid)

amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag, Larotid)0

home / cold and flu center / cold and flu a-z list / amoxicillin index / amoxicillin (amoxil, moxatag, larotid) drug monograph Pharmacy Author: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD Omudhome Ogbru, PharmDDr. Ogbru ...

View More Cold & Flu Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!