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Influenza outbreak in Cardiff Residential Home

Thursday, 1 March 2012
Public Health Wales is investigating a number of cases of influenza associated with Dorothy Lewis Residential Home, Canton, Cardiff. 
Twenty out of 33 residents have developed flu like symptoms since 19 February 2012.
Nine of these have been admitted to hospital, two of whom have died.
Nine of the 40 members of staff have also developed similar symptoms to the residents. No members of staff have been hospitalised so far.
Microbiological testing indicates that the illness is caused by Influenza A (H3N2). This is a normal strain of influenza and has been included in this year’s flu vaccine.
Residents at the home who have not yet developed symptoms are being given Tamiflu to lessen the severity of the symptoms should the illness develop.
Influenza like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches and pains, fatigue and vomiting. Not all symptoms may be present.
Dr Marion Lyons, Lead Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales, said: “In order to prevent further spread of this illness basic infection control techniques should be practiced such as:
  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible.
  • Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully.
  • Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to your face or to other people.
  • Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product.
  • Helping children to follow this advice.
“The majority of healthy individuals recover following influenza with no problems. However, occasionally severe illness may occur, especially in some vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and those with chronic diseases.”
Public Health Wales will continue to work with the residential home to monitor the situation.
More information on weekly influenza activity in Wales is available at: www.publichealthwales.org/flu-activity
More information on seasonal influenza is available at: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/43745
More information on the flu vaccine is available at: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgId=457&pid=25480 
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