Warning over flu at care homes
VICTORIANS with flu are being warned again to avoid aged care facilities which are being hit by a severe flu season this year.
The message from Victoria’s acting chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton comes after seven elderly residents died following an influenza outbreak at the St John’s Retirement Village in Wangaratta.
“We are at the peak of one of the worst flu seasons ever and the elderly are one of highest risk groups. In aged care facilities, the flu can spread quickly,” Dr Sutton said.
“Sadly, for the frail — and people with underlying health conditions — the flu can be very serious.
About 800 people in Victoria die each year from influenza — the most of any communicable disease.”
Flu outbreaks are at very high levels.
There have been 208 respiratory outbreaks this year compared with 104 for the same period last year. So far in 2017, there have been more than 11,300 confirmed cases of influenza in Victoria.
The seven St John’s residents who died were aged between 70 and 94 and had other conditions that made them particularly susceptible.