Nursing homes can’t catch a break in flu fight

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We should have known better. When the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention said that it was one of the mildest flu seasons in years, we should have been wary.

We should have looked askance and commented nonchalantly, “Mild? Oh, really?” And gone back to work.

Now, we are dealing with an epidemic, teetering on a  pandemic, with the swine—excuse me, H1N1—flu virus. And it looks like we’re back to flu season all over again. Bring back the precautionary measures. Stay on guard. Refill those hand sanitizer dispensers.

I guess we can take solace in that this H1N1 problem has been called even milder than the typical winter flu. But that is still not much consolation, because, as we know, the winter flu still kills, especially those with weakened immune systems.

So, hang in there. It is most certainly not the end of the flu season.

But there is a lesson in all this for the future. The next time somebody says flu season is over, go to the storage closet and double-check your supply of flu masks.

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.