Influenza Or Flu – Older people are also more likely to develop complications from the flu. Follow the tips below to reduce the risk of getting the Influenza infection.

Cases of COVID-19 infections have come down significantly. But another virus is circulating fast, and it can infect older people more easily. It is the influenza virus, which is responsible for the contagious respiratory illness called influenza or flu. Anyone can get flu, but the risk is higher for children under the age of 5 and adults over the age of 65. Read on to know why these people are more susceptible to the viral infection.

According to a study from the U-M Medical School, immune cells called alveolar macrophages appear to be compromised with age. The cells live in the small air sacs (called alveoli) inside the lungs and attack invaders like the influenza virus, acting as the first line of defense in the lungs.

The researchers investigated why the number of these macrophages appear to reduce as people get older. An inflammatory lipid is believed to be the cause behind it, they said in article published in Nature Communications.

Weak immunity increases the risk of the flu in older people

The team saw higher number of a lipid immune modulator known as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in the lungs with age. Among its wide-ranging effects, PGE2 is known to play a role in arthritis inflammation as well. The researchers believe that the buildup of PGE2 may have an impact on the health of macrophages in the lung and their ability to generate.

Based on the study findings, the experts explained that aging cause the cells lining the air sacs in the lungs become senescent (which means they are no longer able to replicate). This leads to increased production of PGE2 in the lungs and weakened immune response.

To better understand the connection between PGE2 and increased vulnerability to flu, the researchers treated old mice with a PGE2 receptor-blocking drug. Higher number of lung macrophages were found in the animals treated with the drug than those that did not get the drug. The treated mice also had better survival from flu.

Not just to influenza infection, older people are also more susceptible to other infections, cancers, and autoimmune diseases, the researchers noted.

How to reduce the risk of getting the flu

People with chronic conditions, such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes are also at increased risk of getting the flu.

Early symptoms of the flu may appear like a common cold and include sore throat, sneezing and runny nose. As the infection progresses, one may experience fever, muscle ache, body chills, sweating, headache, dry cough, nasal congestion, fatigue, and weakness.

In most cases, these symptoms improve in about a week with OTC medications and doesn’t require a doctor’s visit. It is advised to get adequate rest and drink plenty of fluids if you’re sick with the flu.

Those who belong to the high-risk groups (children, older people, pregnant women) should seek medical attention. Because these people are susceptible to developing complications from the flu such as pneumonia, bronchitis and ear infection.

Prevention is better than cure. The flu virus spreads through respiratory droplets. To prevent the infection,

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Frequently sanitize commonly touched surfaces at home or office
  • Wear a face mask while caring for someone who has the flu
  • Do not touch your nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Get a flu shot.

Influenza Or Flu

Leave a Reply

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

You May Also Like

How Does Your Diet Affect Your Body? Health: Managing Hypertension To Lowering Diabetes

Managing Hypertension To Lowering Diabetes: How Does Your Diet Affect Your body…

How to Lower High Blood Pressure Naturally – Effective Tips

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) is a deadly health condition that can lead…

How To Get Rid Of Morning Face Puffiness In Diwali Season

How To Get Rid Of Morning Face Puffiness – With Diwali around…

Pomegranate Peels and Seeds Extract Shows Promise in Reducing Cardiovascular Risk

Pomegranate Peels and Seeds Extract Shows Promise in Reducing Cardiovascular Risk –…