Update: 4:11 P.M.
Four residents of senior’s care facilities in the Interior Health region have died related to influenza.
Interior Health confirms the fatalities occurred between Sept. 1, 2017 and Jan. 2, 2018.
For privacy reasons, Interior Health is not releasing where the deaths occurred but the organization says it’s not uncommon to see deaths in flu season in care homes.
Interior Health also says that the deaths are not confirmed to be due to the flu, but “are deaths that occurred among residents during an influenza outbreak.”
Last year there were a total of 37 deaths in residential care facilities related to influenza in the Interior Health region.
The elderly, frail, or those with complex or chronic diseases are at the highest risk from influenza infections and IH says the best ways to prevent the flu include washing your hands, staying home when you’re sick, covering your cough and sneeze, and getting immunized.
Two Kelowna care facilities are among 11 listed by Interior Health as sites where outbreaks of contagious illness have been declared.
Interior Health says both the David Lloyd Jones Home and Cottonwoods have seen outbreaks in recent days—respiratory infection (RI) at David Lloyd Jones and gastrointestinal illness (GI) at Cottonwoods.
In addition to the care homes in Kelowna, two facilities in Vernon, two in Penticton, three in Kamloops, and one each in Golden, Williams Lake and Oliver have had outbreaks declared at them.
“Interior Health sites are experiencing a rise in contagious illnesses, as is often the case during the winter months,” says IH in a release posted on its website.
“These infections are also common in the community at this time of year. To limit the spread of illness and protect those receiving care, Interior Health asks people with loved ones in health-care sites to be aware of the location of respiratory or gastrointestinal outbreaks.”
It is also asking visitors to sites where outbreaks have been identified to postpone their visits to a later date.
Gastrointestinal infections are most commonly caused by viruses and bacteria, according to IH. The illness is spread from person to person through germs in the stool or vomit of infected people.
Respiratory infections are spread through droplets containing the virus or bacteria when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Respiratory infections can be caused by influenza.
Other places where outbreaks have occurred include:
Golden—Durand Manor (RI)
Kamloops—Ponderosa Lodge (RI)
Kamloops—Overlander Residential Care (RI and GI)
Kelowna—David Lloyd Jones (RI)
Oliver—McKinney Place (RI)
Penticton—Westview Place (RI)
Penticton—Haven Hill Care Centre (RI)
Vernon—Down’s Residence (RI)
Williams Lake—Williams Lake Senior’s Village (GI)
For more information, go to the IH website.
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