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Advocacy group encourages elderly to get flu shots

CHICAGO — Illinois residents are being reminded to check on older family members during this flu season and, if needed, to help get them to clinics or a pharmacy to get a flu shot.

The American Association of Retired Persons cites health officials as listing Illinois as one of 41 states reporting widespread flu activity. The advocacy group also notes Illinois health officials have reported six deaths due to flu-related illness so far this season.

In a Wednesday statement, AARP Illinois State Director Bob Gallo says this year's fast-spreading flu virus presents serious health risks for the elderly. And he encourages older residents to take the time to get vaccinated.

The AARP says that 90 percent of flu-related deaths are of people age 65 and older.

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