More than a dozen seniors have been sent to local hospitals and specialized medical care facilities after a flu outbreak at an assisted living facility in Gaithersburg.
County and state health officials are monitoring the 126 residents at Kindley Assisted Living, part of the senior community Asbury Methodist Village, for signs commonly associated with the flu — high fever, muscle aches, and cough, said David Denton, executive director of Asbury.
While there have been only three confirmed cases of Influenza-A since April 27 at Kindley, health officials have found 25 cases of acute respiratory illness, similar to the flu, Denton said. Of those cases, 13 have been sent to area hospitals or Asbury’s Wilson Health Care Center.
Dorri Henry, a spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said they have sent epidemiologists to assist county health officials with overseeing the situation at Kindley.
People over 65 years of age and infants are at the greatest risk of serious health complications from catching the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a survey of major cities, 6.9 percent of all deaths reported in major cities around the country this year were related to either influenza or pneumonia. Of those deaths, 90 percent are 65 years of age or older.
No patients at Kindley have died from the flu this year, Denton said. All patients are offered flu shots every year in the fall.
Individuals with the flu at Kindley have been isolated and are receiving medical attention, Denton said. Until symptoms in patients cease, new admissions to Kindley are not being accepted and visitations are being discouraged.
“We are taking all the necessary precautions to mitigation the risk of others getting ill at Kindley,” he said.
In the seven years he’s worked at Asbury, this is the first outbreak of disease at Kindley, Denton said.