CHA News Article

Guidance Reiterates Flu Prevention, Control in Long-Term Care Facilities
Subscriber alert reports no statewide shortage of antiviral medications

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today released the attached All Facilities Letter 18-08 addressing the state’s high rate of influenza activity. The guidance emphasizes infection control measures for long-term care facility residents with suspected or confirmed influenza and includes steps to take for implementation of droplet precautions. The department advises that residents should stay in their own rooms as much as possible, employees and visitors should be screened for illness, ill health care personnel should be furloughed and ill visitors discouraged from entering the facility. The guidance refers providers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines titled “Interim Guidance for Influenza Outbreak Management in Long-Term Care Facilities,” and the CDPH “Recommendations for the Prevention and Control of Influenza – California Long-Term Care Facilities.”

CDPH has also issued a subscriber alert on influenza antiviral recommendations and strategies to obtain influenza antivirals, reporting there does not appear to be a nationwide antiviral shortage. Pharmacies are encouraged to contact their wholesaler’s customer service desk to request drop shipments of antivirals from the manufacturers if the wholesaler is unable to supply needed medications in a timely manner.