ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Fever, chills, and an aching body — those might be symptoms that you may experience if you have the flu.
Flu season lasted until May last year, and the New York State Department of Health’s recent weekly report showed widespread activity for the flu.
The age groups most vulnerable are those under the age of 2 and over 65.
According to Nurse Practitioner Sharon Ferguson, older adults in retirement homes are at high risk due to high exposure.
“The risk is higher because they’re in a communal environment, where there are people coming in and out all the time,” says Ferguson. “[Residents meet with] staff members and family members, so there’s a lot of potential exposure”
Not only that, older adults are more likely to have other illnesses that make them more affected by the flu.
“At least 50% of people over 65 have 2 chronic illnesses,” says Ferguson. “Probably 80% have at least 1, so they’re a high-risk population.”
Both Ferguson and Dr. Chris Fucito from Guthrie Southport Hospital emphasize handwashing and the flu shot for flu prevention.