Seven residents dead after flu outbreak at Victorian aged care home

Seven people have died at St John's Retirement Village in Wangaratta in Victoria's north-east after a flu outbreak Source: AAP

Seven people have died from an influenza outbreak at an aged care home in regional Victoria.

The elderly residents, aged between 70 to 94, died at St John's Retirement Village in Wangaratta, in the state's north-east.

Over the past few weeks, 123 people caught the flu during the deadly outbreak.

Victorian chief health officer Dr Brett Sutton said there was one person still battling the illness and another death looked like it could be possible.

"We are at the peak of one of the worst flu seasons ever and the elderly are one of highest-risk groups," he said on Friday.

“Sadly, for the frail - and people with underlying health conditions - the flu can be very serious. About 800 people in Victoria die each year from influenza – the most of any communicable disease.”

St John's Retirement Village is home to 146 residents who are looked after by 200 staff.

In Victoria, flu outbreaks are at very high levels - particularly in aged care homes.

Victoria's Depertment of Health has recorded 208 cases this year, which is double the amount seen last year in the same period.

So far this year, more than 11,300 people have been infected by influenza in Victoria alone.

To lessen the risk of catching the highly contagious virus which can spread through fluids in coughs and sneezes, Dr Suttom urges people to keep their hands clean by thorougly washing their hands with soap before visiting their friends or family in aged care or hospital.

NSW has also had the worst month for the flu since records began with more than 39,000 cases detected in August - more than double the previous record.

Data collected by NSW Health shows there have been 39,082 cases of the flu during August.

This surpasses the previous record set in July this year when there were 16,761 cases.

In general, August is the worst month for the flu with 13,602 cases in the same month last year and 12,901 cases the year before that.

Source SBS World News

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