Due to increasing flu levels in the community, GPs and other prescribers working in primary care in England may now prescribe antiviral medicines for the prophylaxis and treatment of flu at NHS expense.
In the January issue of Care Home Management, pharmacist and founder of Pilltime Paul Mayberry discusses the use of antiviral medicines for flu, noting that these are most effective when prescribed within the first 48 hours of flu symptoms. He also gives advice on diagnosing and managing the symptoms of flu. Managers of homes with a suspected outbreak of flu are asked to call the doctor for clinical advice.
Antivirals are only available on the NHS once flu levels reach a certain level; according to Public Health England, for the week ending 23 December 2018) 31 of 36 new acute respiratory outbreaks were reported as occurring in care homes. Of these eight tested positive for influenza.
Click here to view more on infection prevention and control in the January issue of Care Home Management magazine. Care homes who wish to receive a free print copy of CHM should email the editor, Ailsa Colquhoun.