Virus outbreak controlled at Coolum aged care facility

67 residents and stuff have fallen ill.
67 residents and stuff have fallen ill. Contributed

AN OUTBREAK of Human Metapneumovirus and Parainfluenza at a Mount Coolum aged care facility has acted as a timely reminder for residents to get their annual flu vaccination.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Public Health Physician Dr Andrew Langley said that 67 residents and staff contracted virus several days ago but believed the outbreak had been contained.

"There haven't been further positive laboratory results for several days," he said.

"A range of measures were quickly implemented by the aged care facility and the outbreak is considered to be under control by the Public Health Unit. There have been no hospitalisations or deaths.

"It is expected that the outbreak will be declared over next week."

He said further spread of the virus from the outbreak was unlikely and residents should not confuse HMPV with the common cold.

"Symptoms can be similar and testing with a throat or preferably nasal swab is needed to establish which of several respiratory viruses is causing the illness," he said.

"For HMPV common symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough, hoarse voice or sore throat. In more serious infections it can cause wheezing and difficulty breathing.

"It is more severe than a common cold."

Mr Langley encouraged everyone to get an annual flu vaccination.

Topics:  flu virus

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