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H1N1 AND ELDERLY

ANCHOR LEAD: OLDER PEOPLE SHOULD LIMIT THEIR EXPOSURE TO THE FLU, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

If you were born before 1955, chances are good you’ve been exposed to flu viruses similar to the H1N1 strain circulating now, with most experts saying some immunity against infection is likely.  That’s good since most available flu vaccine is being given to other populations.  Michelle Bellantoni, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

BELLANTONI:   At this point we don’t have vaccine in the community for our older adults.  It’s currently being targeted appropriately to the young, and pregnant women and healthcare workers.  It is possible later in the season to have vaccination for older adults and if so I will recommend it.  If not precautions such as being well-rested, being well-hydrated, using good infection control practices like handwashing before eating, not going out and being exposed to large groups of people where there could be respiratory illness.                :32

Bellantoni says older adults should also avoid folks with upper respiratory infections for about two weeks.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.



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