A new trial has achieved lowered rates of infection in residents and staff, fewer hospitalisations and a significant reduction in the duration of an influenza outbreak.
In developing countries, people over the age of 65 are most likely to die from an influenza outbreak. Those in nursing homes are especially vulnerable given the difficulty in containing the virus.
The trial was conducted in 16 Sydney nursing homes over three winter flu seasons using the antiviral drug oseltamivir, commonly known as Tamiflu.
Researchers found that by treating everyone with the drug as a preventative measure, they recorded a reduction in the number of residents infected, fewer staff infections and a lower rate of hospitalisation for residents.