This study clearly defines that Influenza is a highly infectious respiratory illness that causes seasonal epidemics.1 Globally, influenza impacts 3-5 million people per year, resulting in over 650 000 deaths.2 In Australia, influenza infections result in approximately 18 000 hospitalisations a year, primarily affecting young children, older adults, and those with immunocompromising conditions.2-4

Residents in aged care facilities (ACF) are at high risk of influenza infections and respiratory complications.5, 6 Advanced age, frailty and comorbidities can result in reduced immune function.7 Common clinical signs and symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, muscle aches and pain, and fatigue.8 However, among elderly populations, the person can be afebrile or may have atypical symptoms.9 As such, a clinical diagnosis can be missed by nurses and aged care staff. Use of antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir, which if taken within 48 hours after the initial symptoms, can reduce disease severity and influenza-associated complications,10 and studies have shown impact of using oseltamivir as prophylaxis in preventing and management of influenza in the residential care facilities.11-13 One study reported that oseltamivir prophylaxis reduces the influenza attack rate of 90% in residents during outbreaks, particularly in high care wards.

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