Influenza Outbreak Management

Outbreak Definition of Influenza: Three or more residents and/or employees with influenza-like illness within the same 48-hour period or four residents and/or employees within seven days in the same wing or area indicates a potential influenza outbreak until proven otherwise.  

If an influenza outbreak has been declared, the first 24 hours are critical in minimising the impact of the infection on residents and employees. 

Immediate actions need to include


Set up PPE station and signage 

Cohort healthcare workers, working areas 

Provide a single bathroom, bedroom, observation, and care equipment to the affected resident 

Implement the management plan for essential visitors (Partners in Care/Named Visitors/compassionate visitors) to continue to connect with residents

PPE Required For Outbreak Management


N95/P2 respirator mask

Disposable long-sleeved gowns 

Face shield or eye protection 

PPE and hand hygiene refresher training for employees

Use Standard Precautions and Transmission-Based Precautions to minimise influenza transmission


Explain isolation precautions to the resident and why they are necessary

Notify the leadership team to assist 

Notify the doctor to provide guidance and treatment

Notify all employees to ensure understanding of tasks required in an outbreak (including kitchen, laundry, and cleaning)

Notify the family, provide reassurance, and make them aware of visiting requirements/restrictions in an outbreak

A thorough handover is required between shifts, including affected residents and those at risk


Monitor all residents twice daily for symptoms, isolate, test, report, and document any residents with symptoms

Check sufficient PPE, testing equipment, hand hygiene, waste disposal, and cleaning stock are available 

Identify vulnerable healthcare workers for alternative duties

Ensure healthcare workers do not attend work if they are sick, although they can return when symptoms have cleared

Screen any visitors to the facility before entering 

Ensure visitors entering wear PPE


Record all assessments and actions taken in residents' medical records