Key Takeaways

  • COVID and flu season can pose a double threat for all of us, but particularly those with heart conditions.

  • These five tips from the American College of Cardiology can help keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.

  • Be sure to stay current on your vaccinations, including those that protect against flu and COVID.

The double threat of COVID-19 and the flu season, which typically runs through March, can be especially perilous for people with heart conditions. But the experts at the American College of Cardiology have some helpful tips for keeping yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy.

5 ways older adults can protect their heart from the flu and COVID-19

1. Get your vaccines

The flu and COVID shots are your best protection against serious illness.

  • Nearly everyone should get a flu shot each year, ideally in October
  • The latest COVID booster will help you fight the most recent strains of the virus

2. Wear a mask

Even if you're up-to-date with your COVID and flu vaccinations, mask up indoors if there is a high level of COVID or flu in your community. Not sure about the community level of infections? Wearing a mask in crowded indoor spaces can help protect you and those around you. Federal health officials recommend always wearing a mask when using public transportation.

3. Keep up with your health visits

  • Call your care team if you notice something new or worse with your health.
  • If you think you are having a heart attack or stroke, dial 911 right away.

4. Take heart medicines as directed

  • Let your care team know if you need help with your medications, including getting refills or paying for them.

5. Boost your body's ability to fight infections

  • Focus on being physically active, getting good nutrition and quality sleep, and lowering stress. All these help strenthen your immune system.

If you get sick with flu- or COVID-like symptoms, tell your doctor. Medicines that can help need to be started early after symptoms start to be most effective.

Find more infographics to download and share, and tips on keeping your heart strong, from the American College of Cardiology's CardioSmart campaign.