'One person can cause havoc:' Surge in flu outbreaks puts senior care homes on high alert
Residents having lunch at Warm ‘n’ Cozy Care home. (Chad Hills/CTV News Saskatoon)
SASKATOON -- Saskatoon care homes are taking extra steps to avoid a flu outbreak happening at their facility.
On Friday, the Saskatchewan Health Authority announced there have been 30 flu outbreaks at long-term care facilities – that’s nearly double from last year’s outbreak amount of 17.
“One person can cause havoc. As soon as it spreads, it’s big-time trouble,” Sudhir Suryavanshi, the owner Warm ‘n’ Cozy Care home in Saskatoon, told CTV News.
“In all the facilities where the older people live, this is a concern.”
Five people have died from flu-related illnesses since September – on par with last year’s statistics.
Suryavanshi said he advises all his residents to get the flu shot. He’s also installed touchless soap dispensers and taps to avoid the spread of possible germs.
At the Sunnyside Care Centre, CEO Randy Kurtz has also taken precautionary measures.
Kurtz tells staff to stay home if they have any cold symptoms, just in case.
“We don’t want to take any chances with our residents getting sick, as their immune systems are not as strong as ours,” Kurtz wrote in an email.