Public health officials are reminding seniors about getting their annual flu vaccine.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults, age 65 and older, get an annual flu vaccination.
"Getting the flu vaccine protects you and prevents you from spreading the flu to your spouse, children, or grandchildren," the CDC says on its website, cdc.gov.
Medicare will cover the flu vaccine once every flu season.
"As you age, your immune system weakens. This weakening makes seniors - adults 65 years and older - more susceptible to the flu," the site says.
"For seniors, the seasonal flu can be very serious, even deadly. Ninety percent of flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 and older," the CDC adds.
Senior adults have two options for a flu vaccination: the regular-dose flu shot and the high-dose shot that results in a stronger immune response.
Persons are encouraged to speak with their health-care provider to decide which one is right for them.
In addition to getting a flu vaccine, older adults are also encouraged to take steps to keep themselves healthy this flu season.
Because seniors are at an increased risk of getting pneumonia, a complication of the flu, they are also encouraged to speak with their health-care provider about the pneumococcal vaccine.
The pneumococcal vaccine provides protection against pneumonia.
Persons who develop flu-like symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately.
Antiviral medications are available to help make symptoms less severe, but they must be started at the onset of symptoms.