Public Health England guidelines on the management of flu

 In Clinical Guidelines, Public Health England

Influenza (flu) is a major cause of hospitalisation and death among the older generation. In a care home setting, respiratory infections (e.g. flu) can spread rapidly because of the close proximity of patients, causing a high attack rate.

The flu virus tends to be most prevalent during the winter months, particularly from December to April. However, care homes can experience them in the autumn before the winter flu vaccines are given out, so it is important to stay vigilant. Seasonal flu vaccination has become central to flu prevention in healthcare settings and reduces the risk of severe infection.

Public Health England has produced guidance that offers advice for staff to help manage influenza-like illness outbreaks. The guidance includes information on the following:

Investigation and surveillance – this includes details on risk assessment, swabbing, monitoring and recording, and surveillance.

Outbreak control and communications – this includes information on infection control, hygiene, waste disposal, ward or home closures, treatment, personnel, and vaccinations.

To see the full guidance on flu vaccines in care homes, please visit

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