Adults over 65, especially those who are frail or have other health problems, are particularly susceptible to dying from the flu or a related illness like pneumonia.
The most important step to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot. The flu vaccine is safe and effective for most people and can prevent up to 60 percent of hospitalizations and 80 percent of deaths from flu related complications among older adults.
Flu Shot Clinic Locator
Contact Pennsylvania Department of Health, 1-877-PAHEALTH (1-877-724-3258)
While most people have read or heard news stories about the H5N1 bird Flu (also called avian flu) and a pandemic, they often do not realize that an influenza pandemic is different from the seasonal flu.
An influenza pandemic is a worldwide outbreak of disease that occurs when a new strain of influenza virus appears in the human population. When a new, or novel, strain of the virus occurs, it is different enough from previous circulating strains that few people have any immunity to it. A flu pandemic can spread very quickly before a vaccine becomes available, affects a larger number of people than the seasonal flu, and will likely cause much more illness and death than a seasonal flu.