Department of Health

Update on Victorian flu deaths

05/09/17
Published by Department of Health & Human Services

The Department of Health & Human Services can today confirm an eighth person has died following an influenza outbreak at the St John's Retirement Village in Wangaratta.

Victoria's Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton said the Department is continuing to monitor the facility and is providing support to manage the outbreak.

So far in 2017, there have been more than 11,800 confirmed cases of influenza in Victoria with many more notifications still expected.

Flu outbreaks, particularly in aged care facilities, are at very high levels. There have been 222 respiratory outbreaks this year compared with 117 for the same period last year.

Dr Sutton said flu is a highly contagious viral infection, spread by contact with fluids from coughs and sneezes.

"Good hand hygiene is strongly recommended to visitors to assist in controlling any spread of flu," Dr Sutton said.

"This is a timely reminder to all visitors that washing their hands with soap or hand gel before visiting loved ones in aged care or hospital is extremely important.

"And if you are sick you should avoid visiting loved ones in an aged care facility or hospital.

"If you are unwell with a cough or a cold, remember to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and put the tissue straight in the bin.

"You should always wash your hands immediately afterward sneezing, coughing or going to the toilet with soap and running water and dry your hands thoroughly."

Reviewed 05 September 2017

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