7 die in flu outbreak at Australian nursing home


International desk, September 1: Seven elderly residents at a nursing home in Australia have died following a flu outbreak, local authorities say.

The deaths happened the past fortnight in the Victorian city of Wangaratta, state health officials said.

Victoria’s acting chief medical officer, Dr Brett Sutton, said the outbreak had left another 100 people at the aged care facility ill.

The state is enduring one of its worst influenza seasons on record.

The victims, aged between 70 and 94, had pre-existing conditions which made them particularly susceptible.

“Sadly, for the frail – and people with underlying health conditions – the flu can be very serious,” Dr Sutton said.

The outbreak at St John’s Retirement Village was reported to health authorities on 14 August, two days before the first death.

Dr Sutton said authorities would maintain strict infection control measures.

He urged people with flu symptoms to reconsider visiting aged care facilities and to implement good hygiene.

About 800 people died from influenza last year in Victoria, Dr Sutton said.

Source: Agencies