What is it about swine flu that has people so nervous? Should seniors in particular be worried? To learn more, WebMD went to medical experts and got their answers to these and other questions about the 2009 H1N1 virus.
Once we endure the sniffles, coughs, and flu bugs of childhood and
adolescence, most of us can expect to be "under the weather" a lot less as
"If you’re an adult, you’ve probably had most of the childhood diseases
already and have an acquired immunity, so your resistance is a little higher,"
says Russell Robertson, MD, chair of family medicine at Northwestern
University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. "So if you’ve been properly
immunized, and you take good care of yourself, you have every reason to expect
that you will not get sick as often as you did when you were younger."
That doesn’t mean that once you hit 25 or 30, you’ll never get sick again.
Dozens of different viruses can cause colds and flu, so you are likely to get a
cold now and then. Watch out for the many other illnesses that aren’t related
to infections, too.
"But if you’re eating right, exercising, and keeping an eye on family
history and risk factors that might predispose you to illness, you should
expect a very healthy middle age," says Robertson.