Aged influenza deaths - Tasmania

Director of Public Health Dr Mark Veitch said the deaths of six of elderly people at the Strathdevon aged care facility in Latrobe, near Devonport during the influenza outbreak “was a sad event for the families”.

 

The Australian United Church, Uniting Agewell aged care home where the deaths occurred has 37 rooms. The flu outbreak spanned 9 to 30 August 2017.

 

There have been 21 flu outbreaks in nursing homes across Tasmania with nine homes still being monitored.

 

Dr Veitch said, "The influenza season in Tasmania this year has been moderately severe. Tasmanians are reminded to stay away from schools, work and health and aged care facilities if they are unwell."

 

"Elderly people are susceptible to influenza, particularly if they have chronic medical conditions.

 

"For this reason, Public Health Services wrote to all nursing homes in Tasmania earlier this year reminding them to prepare for the influenza season, recommending vaccination of residents and staff and reminding them of the national influenza outbreak guidelines.

 

"The [Uniting Agewell] nursing home advised Public Health Services of this outbreak, and advice and support was provided in accordance with national guidelines."

 

Dr Veitch said there had been more than 1500 confirmed influenza cases in Tasmania so far this year.

 

The deaths in Tasmania are in addition to seven aged care deaths in August at St John's Retirement Village in Wangaratta, Victoria, which is run by the Anglican Church.

 

3 September 2017.