Care homes are urged to step up the fight against flu.
The Department of Health and Social Care has published two resources to protect staff and residents against flu:
The staff information advises that flu should be considered if staff notice two or more residents or staff showing symptoms of a cold or flu, a fever and sudden decline in physical or mental ability, occurring within two days and in the same area of the care home. They are also advised to consider influenza as an alternative diagnosis in residents with suspected chest infection.
The DHSC advises that all residents and staff should be offered seasonal flu vaccination each year. In this year’s NHS flu programme, residents aged over 65 (75 in Scotland) will receive a specific flu vaccination, which is different to that to be given to those aged between 18-64 (74 in Scotland). Care home residents are a priority vaccination group in the programme, which started this month.
Other infection prevention and control measures detailed in the staff information include:
- Hand hygiene and protective clothing
- Cleaning and waste disposal
- Reducing exposure