Expect more deaths at retirement village: Vic Health

VICTORIAN Health have warned of more fatalities after seven people died following a flu outbreak at a retirement village in Wangaratta.

St John's Retirement Village in crisis mode after several victims, aged between 70 and 94, died following the outbreak.

However, the tragedy is set claim another life with acting chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton confirming another resident was close to death.

"There is another resident, unfortunately, who's very unwell," Dr Sutton said.

"So I think another unfortunately may be expected."

The Department of Health and Human Services said the village had nearly 400 residents and staff with 123 people affected by the flu over the past few weeks.

However, the seven victims had other conditions which made them more vulnerable to the outbreak.

The department said it had worked with the facility to manage the outbreak and ensure strict infection control measures.

And Dr Sutton said the outbreak was "right at the tail-end".

"The numbers have dropped off dramatically in the last few days," he said.

"And if we can go another few days without any further new cases, the outbreak well be declared over."

The ABC reports there have been twice as many outbreaks of the flu this year than there were in 2016, with 208 respiratory outbreaks in aged care homes this year compared with 104 for the same period last year.

"Good hand hygiene is strongly recommended to visitors to assist in controlling any spread of flu," Dr Sutton said in an earlier statement.

"This is a timely reminder to all visitors that washing their hands with soap before visiting loved ones in aged care or hospital is extremely important."

Topics:  flu general-seniors-news

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