A health specialist warned older people that if they had flu in their past, then they are at a higher risk of getting diseases like heart attack, stroke or disability.
Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Disease, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, said that we all have knowledge about the symptoms of influenza-like fever that results in extreme body pain and aches. The reason for these pains is the systemic inflammatory response that is generated by the body against the infection.
Schaffner reported that once a person recovers from influenza, he/she subsequently develops a risk of heart attack and stroke. He suggested that by preventing the flu, the risk of heart attack or stroke can also be decreased.
It is observed that senior citizens account for more than half of the hospitalization cases suffering from flu caused by influenza and nearly 80% of deaths related to flu. So, this a clear warning to seniors to take extra preventive measures.
Schaffner told that there are only a few vaccines specifically administered to older adults against flu because they produce enhanced immune response in the aged population.
Domino effect can be seen in seniors. When a normal healthy person, who is pretty much functional in the society, contracts influenza, he/she may recover, but with less likelihood to regain the same level of functionality. Moreover, the person could become more prone to other health conditions.
He said, “Flu can be like that first domino falling and beginning to push patients down the disability scale.”