Flu season is upon us, and as a result many assisted living and residential care providers are seeing an increase in flu-like illness in their residents and staff. Fortunately the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created a web page specifically for long term care providers with information on preventing seasonal influenza.
Key steps include:
- Vaccinations – For residents and staff
- Surveillance – Watch for signs and symptoms of influenza on a daily basis
- Control outbreaks – Take additional steps when 2 or more residents are ill
- Standard precautions – Should be applied to all resident care
- Droplet precautions – Should be implemented for residents with suspected or confirmed influenza for 7 days after illness onset or until 24 hours after the resolution of fever and respiratory symptoms, whichever is longer
- Medications – Physicians may order antiviral medications for active influenza, and possibly prophylactically if an outbreak occurs