Flu blamed for nursing home deaths

A strain of flu was responsible for the death of six residents at a Fahan Nursing home, according to the Health Sevices Executive.

A strain of flu was responsible for the death of six residents at a Fahan Nursing home, according to the Health Sevices Executive.

HSE tests have confirmed that influenza was the cause of the respiratory type illness amongst the residents in the private nursing home.

Samples were tested by the National Virus Reference Laboratory.

The HSE said all residents in the nursing home have now received either active or preventative treatment for influenza.

Director of the executive, Dr Darina O’ Flanagan, 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, HSE director of Public Health for North West added: “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.

He advised people visiting older residents of the Nazareth nursing home and healthcares staff should ensure that their vaccinations for influenza are up to date.

It is understood all of those who died were over 80-years-old.

See tomorrows Donegal Democrat for a full report.