Flu-like symptoms affected 33 senior living residents

Local health officials are optimistic an outbreak of a flu-like illness at a senior living community has been contained.

In accordance with state regulations, the outbreak at Parkside Court, 3660 N. Central Ave. was reported to the Indiana State Department of Health last week, county health administrator Collis Mayfield said.

After ISDH Field Epidemiologist Jill Stauffer received the report, she immediately contacted Parkside officials to provide them with immediate procedures necessary to follow to reduce the risk of further infection, Mayfield said.

Such steps normally include an extensive use of disinfectants throughout the facility, as well as imposing limitations on the number of visitors a resident may have, he said.

Mayfield emphasized such limitations are generally made to protect elderly residents from further risk by exposure to outsiders, rather than the other way around.

On Friday, a Parkside Court employee estimated that as many as 33 residents were reporting symptoms normally associated with the stomach flu.

Although that figure may sound alarming to many, such a high number is not that unusual, Mayfield said.

“This probably happens at least once a year,” he said.

It’s unknown what type of disease broke out in the senior living community on the city’s north side. Mayfield said such a diagnosis will have to come from Stauffer, who is on vacation until Jan. 2.

Parkside Court representatives did not respond to telephone calls seeking information about the residents.

No similar outbreaks have been reported elsewhere in Bartholomew County, Mayfield said.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.