Flu continues to claim lives in aged-care

Health authorities urge people sick with flu to avoid aged care homes

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Health officials have urged people with flu symptoms to stay away from visiting the aged.

Health officials have urged people with flu symptoms to stay away from visiting the aged.

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Flu cases on decline in NSW but authorities are still concerned for the elderly.

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HEALTH authorities are pleading with people who have the flu to stay away from aged-care facilities as the virus claimed the lives of another 11 people aged over 60.

NSW Health data released on Friday reveals there were 24 confirmed influenza outbreaks in aged-care facilities in the most recent reporting week, bringing the total number in 2019 to 178.

Ninety people aged over 60 have died from the flu this year.

While overall the state is seeing a decline in flu activity, communicable diseases director Vicky Sheppeard says authorities are still concerned for the elderly.

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"Elderly people often have complex conditions that are aggravated by influenza, so while we know it is important to visit family and friends in aged-care facilities, if you are sick with the flu we are asking people to stay home until you have recovered," she said in a statement.

The latest influenza surveillance report revealed a drop in flu cases in the week ending July 21, from 6779 to 5400, bringing the total number of reported cases to 65,913.

"While we are seeing cases decline, the flu is still about so it is important people remember to take steps to minimise its spread," Dr Sheppeard said.

"People should cover their coughs and sneezes, wash their hands thoroughly and stay home if they are ill. Remember, vaccination is still your best protection and it is not too late to have a flu shot."

Australian Associated Press

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