Going to visit a nursing home? Bring your mask to protect citizens from the flu

Posted at 7:22 PM, Dec 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-24 19:22:38-05

Just this week, the CDC announced two children died from the flu in the eastern part of Virginia.

That's why today employees at Beacon Shores Nursing Home are taking action to protect the elderly from the deadly disease.

“We are on edge and rightfully so because the end results can be deadly. It's what we call a sentinel event and we don't want that to happen,” says Margot Wilson with Beacon Shores Nursing Home.

Wilson says the residents who live at Beacon Shores are the most vulnerable to the flu. Because they are elderly and many of them have compromised immune systems.

“It makes it challenging because if one person gets it, it spreads like wildfire,” says Wilson.

Even though it's Christmas Eve, health experts are asking you not visit loved ones at nursing homes if you may be even a little bit sick.

“We encourage them to not visit their loved ones if they have any of those symptoms,” says Wilson.

But if it's an absolute must to visit your loved one, Wilson recommends you protect them.

“We want to keep everyone safe,” says Wilson.

The nursing home has a flu station set up complete with hand sanitizer and masks. They also have an entire protocol in place to prevent it from spreading if the flu somehow makes its way in.

“It is scary. It is unnerving, but again to me right now we have our arms around it,” says Wilson.

Health experts say even if you don't have a loved one in a nursing home, you have to protect yourself against the flu. By getting the flu shot, washing your hands and even getting an antiviral like Tamiflu the moment you start feeling sick.