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How can I prevent the flu as I age?


As you age, taking steps to prevent the flu (influenza) becomes even more important. Men and women who are 65 years of age and older who get the flu have a higher risk for complications, which can include: pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections. To lower your risk for the flu, take these steps:

  • Get the flu vaccine every year as soon as it's available. Adults over the age of 65 should consider getting the high-dose version of the vaccine if available since it has been shown to be more effective than the standard dose in this population.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. When soap and water aren't available, use alcohol-based hand cleaners.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose as much as possible.
  • Avoid contact with people who have the flu.
  • If you have close contact with someone who has the flu, consider asking your doctor about taking an antiviral medication.

Learn more about the cold and flu.

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Answers to questions regarding information about medications or health conditions are not for diagnostic or treatment purposes and are not conclusive as to the presence or absence of any health condition. Consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment of your medical condition. The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of the scientific literature may vary. Walgreens' terms of use and general warranty disclaimer apply to all services provided. If you are in need of immediate medical attention, contact your physician, poison control center or emergency medical professional. If you need to speak with a pharmacist for non-emergency matters, contact your local Walgreens pharmacist or call a pharmacist toll-free at 1 (877) 250-5823.

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