One death in ‘flu’ outbreak at care home

ONE person has died and five others are in hospital following a suspected flu outbreak at a care home in Llanelli.

Public Health Wales has launched an investigation after 21 of the 35 residents at Y Plas Care Home in Felinfoel were struck down with the flu-like illness.

It comes just days after two deaths from flu were confirmed at two un-named Swansea care homes, with a further six people in hospital.

On Friday, Public Health Wales said they could not confirm whether the latest death was as a result of the flu outbreak.

Bosses said other residents at the Felinfoel home had been offered the antiviral Tamiflu, either because they were already unwell or to prevent them from contracting the illness.

Consultant in communicable disease control for Public Health Wales Dr Mac Walapu said the outbreak was believed to be flu, and said such incidents were not uncommon in nursing homes.

He said: “In view of the rapid spread and high attack rate of this illness, it is most likely to be influenza.

“We have also recently had outbreaks of influenza in nursing homes in Swansea.

“Flu circulates in the UK between October and April and it is not uncommon to see outbreaks in closed communities like nursing homes, where the disease can spread easily.

“People with flu will usually experience a fever, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue.

“Fit and healthy people will usually recover from flu without any complications and without needing medication.

“However, in elderly people flu can be more serious and therefore we have treated residents at this home with Tamiflu as a precaution.”

Sheila Porter, Carmarthenshire’s head of primary, community and social care, said: “We are working very closely with Public Health Wales to support residents, visitors and staff by providing information, advice and reassurance. We would like to thank staff for their continued commitment and support, and hope that anyone affected will make a full and quick recovery. Sadly, one of our residents has passed away and although the death is not confirmed as linked to the flu-like illness, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family who we will continue to support.”