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    How Does the Flu Affect Older Adults?

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    Where Do You Get a Flu Shot?

    The CDC offers an online flu shot clinic locator. Flu vaccinations are easier to find than ever. You can get them at walk-in clinics in many pharmacies and grocery stores. That's in addition to local health departments and many doctors' offices.

    Can Older Adults Use the Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine?

    FluMist is a nasal spray flu vaccine that contains a live flu virus. It isn’t recommended for adults over age 49. It is also not recommended for use during the 2016-2017 flu season.

    When’s the Best Time to Get the Shot?

    Flu season can begin as early as September and last as late as May. Your best bet is to get a flu shot early in the season so your body has a chance to build up immunity to the virus. It takes about 2 weeks for the flu shot to protect you. If you don't get it early, getting a flu shot later still helps.

    How Is Flu Treated?

    Contact your doctor if you get symptoms. He’ll check for complications and suggest treatment. He might prescribe an antiviral medication like oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab), or zanamivir (Relenza).

    Other ways to treat flu symptoms in older adults include:

    • Get lots of rest.
    • Drink plenty of liquids.
    • Ask the doctor or pharmacist before you take a new over-the-counter cold or flu medicine. He can make sure it won't interfere with prescription drugs or complicate your other medical conditions.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on August 11, 2016
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