Paul Spring Retirement Home Sees Flu Outbreak

The illness is contained to four residents, administrators said.

A flu outbreak at has left all communal meals and activities canceled for the indeterminate future, home administrators said Wednesday.

Four residents at the retirement home have been diagnosed with “type A” influenza, according to a statement by Paul Spring Executive Director Theresa Dixon. Cheryl Bates, director of nursing, said three of those residents required hospitalization.

Bates said the outbreak began May 9.

Dixon, in her statement, said the retirement home has been in constant contact with the Fairfax County Health Department.

“Clearly, we take this situation very seriously and we have taken immediate steps to identify the risks and minimize the potential risks to the rest of our community,” Dixon said. “We are continuing to work closely with the health department to (ensure) the safety and care of our entire community.”

The retirement home has provided all staff with Tamiflu, Dixon said. Also, although flu shots were provided last year in the late fall and early winter, anyone resident or staff member who opted not to get a shot at that time will be encouraged to get one now, she said.

All activities at the retirement home have been canceled, including planned excursions and routine daily trips in the community van. Administrators will work with residents who have urgent travel needs to accommodate them, Dixon said.

Also, all dining rooms have been closed until symptoms subside, with staff delivering all meals to residents’ rooms. No new resident will be admitted to the community until the last resident is without symptoms for at least seven days.

“It’s all activities,” Bates said. “We have a full calendar, so it ranges from outings, to people coming in singing or just resident activities. There are, I would say, up to 10 activities a day.”

Bates said she knew of no similar flu outbreaks in the past at Paul Spring, which is home to 123 residents. More than 75 employees work at the home, located at 7116 Fort Hunt Road.

Barbara Sullivan May 17, 2012 at 12:12 PM
I commend Paul Spring for the proactive measures that they have taken to contain the flu that has affected their community. It is very hard to control any illness in populated situations such as a retirement community, schools and health institutions. Our organization was to have a planned activity at Paul Spring this past week. It was cancelled due to the flu outbreak and are pleased with the measures that the community has taken to lessen the spread of the illness. As an organization, we commend Paul Spring Retirement Community for being on top of this flu and the consideration of not just the safety of their residents, but also of the neighborhood community.


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