Ashland assisted living community works to protect residents from the flu

Oregon is on track for a record-breaking flu season.

The number of confirmed cases and hospitalizations is higher than the last several years.

The most current numbers show there were 173 influenza-associated hospitalizations last week, compared to 204 the week before.

“I know that the hospitals have been busy,” Skylark Assisted Living Administrator said.

Flu season happens every year.

But for those that are older or more susceptible, influenza can sometimes have dangerous affects.

Teresa Selby works at Skylar Assisted Living in Ashland.

She says one of her residents had to visit the hospital.

“We hope that everybody stays healthy here, but I do have nurses in place, we have med-aids, we have care givers,” Selby said.

According to Jackson County Public Health, the strain of influenza this season has shown more dramatic symptoms leading more people to go to the emergency room.

“We really saw flu first for the state… and really high. Our hospitals were definitely feeling the pinch just with beds not being available,” Health Promotion Manager Tanya Phillips said.

Jackson County saw the most flu cases in late December, but Skylark is still taking precautions to keep its residents healthy.

“When flu season hits, we actually have team members that are assigned to deep cleaning throughout the community,” Selby said.

That includes sanitizing chairs, tables and hand rails.

They’ve also provided residents and team members with flu shots.

However, after the simple hand washing and hand sanitizer, stopping the spread starts with preventing the flu from ever entering.

“The biggest thing for us is education to the public as well. Our residents families… if they aren’t feeling well, we prefer that they call their loved ones or come in and visit at a later date and we’ll provide them with updates if they need them,” Selby said.

While the numbers are going down, Jackson County Public Health says it’s still not too late to get the flu shot to prevent further cases.

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