Nursing homes do not put elderly at higher risk

An analysis of almost 8300 notifiable infections recorded from 2000 to 2009 showed all but one type was more likely to occur in elderly people living in the community compared to a long-term care facility.

Rates of campylobacter, legionella, listeria, toxigenic E. coli and shigella infection were higher in the community-dwelling people over the age of 65 years, the study found.

“Rates of foodborne and waterborne infections among [institutionalised] residents were lower than or similar to rates among community residents, except for salmonellosis, which was higher,” the authors said.

In particular, rates of campylobacteriosis in these residents were consistently lower throughout the entire study period, “which was unexpected because incidence of this infection is universally high”.

There were 61.7 campylobacter infections reported per 100,000 long-term care facility residents per year, compared with 97.6 among people