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King County Officials Warn of Flu Outbreaks at Long-Term Care Facilities

Influenza cases have sharply increased at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities in our area during the first two weeks of 2013.

An official with King County Public Health is issuing a warning this week to local nursing homes and other long-term care facilities about a sharp increase in influenza outbreaks.

Thirty-two facilities in King County have reported outbreaks of influenza since Jan. 1, according to a message from Dr. Jeffrey S. Duchin, commmunicable-disease chief for Public Health — Seattle & King County. In comparison, an average of 12 outbreaks have been reported per season since 2007-2008, he said. 

The county is advising that long-term care workers begin treating symptoms with anti-viral medications immediately, without waiting for lab results or rapid influenza tests. The instructions warn that elderly patients may show mild symptoms with little or no fever.

Care providers should also make sure all residents and staff have received a flu vaccination, the memo states.

Still need to get a flu shot? Click here and type in your ZIP code to find a list of vaccine providers near you.

Avis Ferguson January 15, 2013 at 05:02 PM
What are anti-viral medications? We are assured antibiotics are not effective against virus infections. Maybe call on Jack Daniels?
Caitlin Moran January 15, 2013 at 05:06 PM
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/antivirals/whatyoushould.htm
Heather January 15, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Antivirals are not the same as antibiotics; antivirals can lessen the symtpoms if caught early.

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