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Are you at risk for the flu?

Prepare your immune system to fight the flu

On Sunday morning, it starts with a sniffle. Then a cough. Next a handshake to greet an usher. Without warning, the flu is spreading rapidly during the welcome. By next week, half of the congregation is out sick.

Catching the flu can be as easy as passing the offering plate. But why are some more susceptible to the virus than others? If we’re all at risk, why are only some affected?

Did you know?

The CDC estimates that 90% of flu-related deaths and over 60% of flu-related hospitalizations each year happen in seniors age 65 and older.


Some people naturally have weaker immune systems — children younger than age two, adults age 65 and older and people with medical conditions — making them more susceptible to viruses. A serious strain, like influenza, can become too much for their immune system to overcome.

If you find yourself or a loved one “at risk,” what can you do? How can you prevent the flu or stop the onset of serious side effects? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these specialized action plans for those who are at higher risk.

Keep in mind, your immune system needs to be strong to battle the long flu season, which typically lasts more than half the year. Take care of your body — and give it a boost — by eating foods rich in antioxidants, getting a full eight hours of sleep, reducing stress and increasing physical activity. Of course, a flu shot is always a good preventive option.

To get your immune system on track, visit our wellness website to find resources, challenges and inspirational stories to help you, your family and your co-workers live a healthier life.