Australian flu warning for care homes


Infection control specialist, Cairn Care, has launched a factsheet on influenza to help care homes prepare effectively for the threat of this highly infectious viral illness.

The fact sheet, which outlines how to help prevent an isolated incident spreading, as well as how to tackle a full outbreak, comes amidst warnings of the possible spread of ‘Australian flu’ to Europe.

Dr Peter Binns, Managing Director of Cairn Care, said: “Elderly residents in care homes are a high-risk group for two reasons. Firstly, they are at greater risk from the complications of flu than younger adults. Secondly, by living in a care home, they are in close proximity to each other, meaning there is a greater likelihood of flu spreading from person to person.

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“With reports that the flu in Australia has affected the elderly most and that it may well move to the Northern Hemisphere this winter, we decided to put this fact sheet together to help care homes tackle the risk.”

According to government data, Australia has had a worse flu season than usual this year, with 93,711 laboratory-confirmed cases reported to its National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System as of 18 August.

Notification rates were highest in adults aged 80 or over, with eight people aged between 70 and 94 dying after a flu outbreak at a nursing home in the state of Victoria.

Influenza can easily be spread in care homes through coughs and colds, as well as via contaminated surfaces and ‘touch points’.

To request your free fact sheet, complete with outbreak action plan and visual handwashing guide, email

Tags : Best practiceHealth and Safety

The author Lee Peart

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