Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Pandemic flu and the elderly: A cause for concern

In the event of a flu pandemic, health officials are predicting that older people will be among the hardest hit by the disease, both in terms of the number of cases and deaths. But just how much at risk are the elderly?

A new commentary by members of APHA's Gerontological Health Section tries to answer that question. According to the commentary author Pierrette J. Cazeau MBA/H.S.A, CCJ, CHRM, CNPR findings from the regular flu season show that there is cause for concern for the elderly during a pandemic, especially those who live in group settings. Health officials need to plan for rapid exposure in communal dwellings to prevent the potential impact of pandemic influenza on the elderly, according to the authors, and prepare to provide vaccinations, if they become available.

To read the full commentary, visit APHA's Get Ready for Flu Web site.

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