There are various viruses present in circulation in our area today, such as COVID, influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, among others.
According to Carolina Álvarez, a nurse at the Senior Suites residences for the elderly, viruses mainly affect the most vulnerable groups, such as children, the chronically ill and the elderly. “In the case of the elderly, those with underlying pathologies or immunocompromised are more likely to contract serious infections,” she explained.
It is for this reason that respiratory infections can be serious for the elderly population, and “it is essential to be attentive to how to prevent and also to each symptom that may appear, to take measures in time.”
Among the symptoms that may occur are: fever, sneezing, runny nose, reduced appetite, whistling in the chest, among others. “It is important to note that, for most viruses, you can only treat the symptoms, while the immune system takes care of fighting the infection,” he stressed.
The nurse suggests treating mild symptoms such as increased body temperature with medications previously prescribed by your attending physician, avoiding self-medication with antibiotics. If the symptoms persist, request a medical appointment, and if they worsen (such as a temperature greater than 38°C for more than 3 days or respiratory distress), go to the emergency department. It is very important to follow these steps, to avoid overloading the health system.
Finally, for the professional, there are certain recommendations that must be followed to reduce the risk of contagion from these viruses: frequent hand washing, wearing a mask, avoiding sudden changes in temperature, cleaning and disinfecting regularly; and immunizations up to date.