A case of influenza was confirmed at Northern Montana Care Center Thursday.
Care Center Administrator Ron Gleason said one resident was hospitalized and tested positive for influenza A. This is the first confirmed case of influenza at the Care Center during the 2012-2013 flu season.
Care Center residents are generally more susceptible to influenza due to their age. Gleason said that every resident and staff member is offered the flu shot annually.
Once a case of influenza is confirmed at the Care Center, all necessary precautions are taken to stop the spread of infection, he said.
“At this time, our staff members are wearing masks as they are attending to residents, and all those who came within close proximity to the infected individual have been started on an antiviral medication regimen, ” Gleason said.
Infection Control Specialist Ginny Heberly noted that visitors are temporarily being turned away from the Care Center. Signs on the Care Center doors say “No Visitors” and provide numbers for further information.
“Our priority is to keep the residents and the community as safe as possible, ” Heberly said. “Visitors can unknowingly carry the virus into or out of the Care Center. ”
Heberly said that the length of the restriction on visitors is dependent on whether or not new cases of influenza pop up over the next week or two.
“We will certainly keep the restriction through the weekend and reevaluate the situation at the beginning of next week, ” she said.
If family members or friends have further questions regarding the visitation restriction, they are welcome to call the Care Center at 262-1900 or 262-1899 for more information.