Investigations Continue Into Influenza Outbreak

The Public Health Department of HSE North West have deployed a team of medical doctors, nurses and surveillance scientists to the Nazareth private nursing home, Buncrana, County Donegal in order to control and manage the situation and to put all appropriate treatment and control measures in place.

Six people have died within a two week period.

All residents in the nursing home have received either active or preventative treatment for influenza.

The National Virus Reference Laboratory has confirmed to the HSE that samples taken from patients at the private nursing home, in Buncrana, County Donegal have tested positive for influenza A (H3).

This confirms that influenza is the cause of the respiratory type illness amongst the residents in the nursing home.

Dr Darina O’ Flanagan, Director of the HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSE HPSC), said: "The results prove that the measures put in place by the Public Health Department of HSE North West have been appropriate since they became aware of the tragic deaths of residents in the nursing home."

Dr Peter Wright, Director of Public Health, HSE North West said: "The Public Health Department in HSE North West continues to closely manage and monitor the situation. While flu is usually a relatively mild infection it can be a very serious illness among the elderly and is a common cause of death in older people. People should be aware of the simple measures they can take to reduce the risk of infection. These include covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, disposing of the tissue as soon as possible and washing your hands with soap and water as soon as you can afterwards. People visiting older residents of the Nazareth nursing home and healthcares staff should ensure that their vaccinations for influenza are up to date."


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