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Tamiflu or Relenza Increased Flu Protection for Seniors

Each year more than 36,000 Americans die from the flu and more than 90% of these deaths are in people over age 60. A Toronto based study found that older flu patients treated with anti-virals such as Tamiflu or Relenza had 1/3 the risk of dying from the flu as those treated just with antibiotics.

The first line of defense for the flu is an annual flu shot. However, over the age of 65-70, the flu shot is only 40% effective. To lessen the impact of the flu seniors should ask their doctors about anti-virals if flu symptoms develop. Anti-virals reduce length of illness, risk of complications and even reduce death rate, but these medications must be used within the first 24-48 hours of the illness to provide relief.

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