In a flu season that is expected to be the worst in a decade, the 39.6 million Americans aged 65 years or older are among some of its most-likely victims. In just a few months, there have already been 17 flu fatalities among older people in Connecticut and North Carolina alone.

So as an older person, what can you do to avoid the flu this year? According to Michael Bogaisky, M.D., assistant professor in the geriatrics division of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, there are several flu prevention measures an older person should take.

While Dr. Bogaisky recommended older people take basic precautions like washing their hands, avoiding touching their mouth and eyes and getting a vaccination, he also said older people should be wary of potential flu spreaders, like their grandchildren, or caregivers.

“Grandchildren are the biggest risk for older people … children are notorious spreader of the flus because they tend to cough and not cover their mouths and be less hygienic,” said Dr. Bogaisky.

It is also imperative for all caregivers to get flu shots, and take take time off if they are feeling sick.

“For elderly people who aren’t getting out much, their main exposure might be their caregivers,” said Dr. Bogaisky. “If [a caregiver is] getting sick … [they] should get someone to step in for [them], if possible.”

As a doctor in a hospital which is “overflowing” with flu victims, Dr. Bogaisky stressed this final tip.

“If youre starting to feel very sick, please call your doctor. This can be serious.”

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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  • Severe Headaches

    Sudden severe headaches could be a sign of a stroke, according to the <a href="http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SYMP" target="_hplink">National Stroke Association</a>.

  • Difficulty Walking

    Having "trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination" are all signs of a stroke, according to the <a href="http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SYMP" target="_hplink">National Stroke Association</a>.

  • Trouble Seeing

    Is the person having difficulty seeing in one or both eyes? This is one of the symptoms of a stroke, according to the <a href="http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SYMP" target="_hplink">National Stroke Association</a>.

  • Confusion

    "Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding," are all signs of a stroke, according to the <a href="http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SYMP" target="_hplink">National Stroke Association</a>.

  • Numbness

    One-sided numbness of the face, arms or could be a sign of a stroke, according to the <a href="http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SYMP" target="_hplink">National Stroke Association</a>.

  • Remember FAST

    The National Stroke Association also recommends you get familiar with the acronym FAST. <strong>F is for face.</strong> When you ask the person to smile, does their face droop? This is one of the a warning signs of a stroke, according to the <a href="http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SYMP" target="_hplink">National Stroke Association</a>.

  • Remember FAST

    <strong>A is for arms.</strong> When you ask the person to raise up both arms, does one droop? This is a warning sign of a stroke, according to the <a href="http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SYMP" target="_hplink">National Stroke Association</a>.

  • Remember FAST

    <strong>S is for speech.</strong> "Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase," advises the <a href="http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SYMP" target="_hplink">National Stroke Association</a>. "Is their speech slurred or strange?"

  • Remember FAST

    <strong>T is for time.</strong> Time is of the essence if you observe any of these warning signs, according to the <a href="http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SYMP" target="_hplink">National Stroke Association</a>. Call 911 immediately.