flu patients

What happens when older, vulnerable patients get the flu?

Flu shots are some of the most important services in order to protect patients from seasonal strains of the influenza virus. Even though a good chunk of patients can simply get the vaccine, or fight of the flu through natural immunity. However, the flu can be extremely debilitating and potentially life-threatening for a certain subset of patients: elderly and vulnerable individuals with weakened immune systems.

The flu virus can infect normally healthy patients for weeks on end with a few symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, fatigue, nausea, fever, and headache to name a few. While these symptoms eventually dissipate with time, a person with a weakened immune system may experience a far worse medical outcome.

Specifically, older patients, infants, and patients with autoimmune disorders can end up hospitalized or dead without the proper medical safeguards in place. These safeguards include necessary vaccinations, treatment, and medications to help fight off the flu. Even in Santa Clara County the flu has already caused impactful outcomes on older and vulnerable flu patients.

Older and younger patients are impacted by the flu season

According to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, two patients died at the start of flu season because of the flu virus. The patients included a younger child and one adult under the age of 65 with unique immune system vulnerability. Department officials explain that the vast spread of the flu virus at the start of flu season has been attributed to these deaths. Per the Public Health Department:

“Flu and the flu season are predictably unpredictable. It’s too early to say what these two reported deaths may indicate about this flu season,” said County Health Officer and Director of the Public Health Department Dr. Sara Cody. “Getting vaccinated is still the best protection. I get my flu shot to protect myself and others, like my elderly mother. I don’t always enjoy getting my flu shot. Who does? I do it because it could be lifesaving.”
There were 27 cases of severe flu in individuals under the age of 65 reported in Santa Clara County Public Health Department during the 2018–2019 flu season.
“These deaths are an unfortunate reminder that the flu is deadly,” said Dr. Cody. “The child who died of the flu may have contracted the flu virus during international travel. This underscores the importance for all of us to get vaccinated before we travel, especially for trips outside the U.S.”

Source: Santa Clara Department of Public Health

Get your flu shots at our Dublin walk-in clinic today!

Patients that may need to get an immediate flu shot should consider going to Instant Urgent Care Dublin to help get vaccinated today! Getting a flu shot is the best way for a majority of patients to stay safe and avoid the potentially harmful effects of the flu virus.