Warn­ing over flu at care homes

McIvor Times - - NEWS -

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.

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