Retirement center takes steps to stop flu

SPOKANE, Wash. - With the number of people suffering from the flu on the rise in Spokane, those taking care of the most vulnerable are taking extra precautions to keep the nasty virus at bay.

At Rockwood Retirement Communities, staff at the Hawthorne location have put the salad bar on hold, limited the size of group activities and are encouraging people with flu-like symptoms to stay in their rooms until they feel better.

Jaak Juhkentaal, Executive Director of Rockwood at Hawthorne, said two residents have had confirmed cases of the influenza.  Juhnkentaal credits alert and well trained staff, good hygiene and extra precautions for keeping the flu from spreading to the other 110 residents.

Retirement center takes steps to stop flu

"We have to go to the full scope of precautions immediately rather than wait for wide spread outbreak and find that we are trying to catch up," Jaak Juhkentaal said.

"Our hope with the encouragement of our medical director take pro-active measure quickly, even if the measure mean some inconvenience for our activities, and residents getting out and about," he added

Elderly and young children are most vulnerable during flu season.  The Spokane Regional Health Department reports 105 people have been hospitalized with the flu this season, up from 19 this time last year.  Of those hospitalized, 72-percent are over the age of 50.