Flu Information for Long-term Care Facilities

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What you need to know

Older persons are at higher risk of flu complications 

People 65 years and older are at a higher risk of serious complications from influenza. During most seasons, about 90% of seasonal deaths linked to flu and about half of hospital stays in the United States happen in people 65 years and older. Preventive steps and quick treatment may reduce the risk of flu complications, such as hospitalization and death.

Flu Outbreak Reporting

Long-term care facilities should report all influenza-like clusters or outbreaks to the local public health department or to DHHS. For more information on reporting, visit Disease Reporting.

Flu Outbreak Management and Prevention

In long-term care facilities, flu outbreaks can happen. To prevent outbreaks, all long-term care facility residents and healthcare staff should be vaccinated against influenza.

  • If you suspect an outbreak of the flu, take immediate action:
  • Implement surveillance to identify new cases.
  • Take standard and droplet precautions with ill residents. Do not delay.
  • All facility residents who have confirmed or suspected influenza should receive antiviral treatment immediately. Do NOT wait for confirmatory testing.
  • All residents in the facility should receive chemoprophylaxis as soon as there is identification of a flu outbreak. This applies to entire facility, not just the affected unit.

For more information on influenza outbreak management, see CDC's Toolkit for Long-Term Care Facilities.