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Care facilities work to prevent flu illnesses

Posted at 10:36 PM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 13:23:07-05

If you haven't gotten the flu this season, you're one of the lucky ones. The CDC says widespread flu activity is now reported in every state, except Hawaii.  

A 10-year-old boy and a 40-year-old mother are the latest deaths related to flu in the U.S.

In Douglas County, the flu's been responsible for four deaths, all in people over age 65. There's been 1641 reported flu cases so far this season.

"I am very lucky I didn't get the flu," said Patricia Jones, short-term resident at Brookestone Village.

Patricia Jones is recovering from a recent heart operation. She's was going through rehab at Brookestone Village when a part of her floor was put under quarantine. 

"It was pretty much a shut down thing. For two days we all ate our meals in our rooms. Normally we come out here - there's a common kitchen area," said Jones.

The quarantine is part of a protocol to keep elderly residents protected. 

Family and friends were asked to hold off on visits and medical staff wore masks and gloves to keep the virus from spreading. Jones will be released Saturday and says she is thankful her homecoming wasn't delayed by illness. 

"The people who knew what to do, who had the medical experience, were taking care of what needed to be taken care of. And they're doing a good job of it," said Jones.

"Every year is a concern with the elderly. So we just keep doing what we always do making sure we do good hand hygiene; protecting them as best we can; and ensuring and educating them on the flu shot," said Lorraine Buesing, Staff Development Infection Control Prevention.

The number of flu cases in Douglas County jumped from 404 people testing positive to 414 last week. 

For facilities like Brookestone Village, it's a reminder that visitors be mindful of resident's health.

"Anyone in the community that is sick, or sick themselves or staff members we ask that they stay home. We ask that maybe they Skype their loved one," said Buesing.