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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C

Ireland's first two flu cases of the season have been confirmed

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre said global flu detections have increased in recent weeks, “albeit at low levels”.

THE FIRST TWO cases of the flu in Ireland have been confirmed this week.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre has reported the first two lab-confirmed cases of Ireland’s flu season; neither of the cases are critical, with no reported hospitalised or critical care cases of the flu this week. 

The HPSC has said that global influenza virus detections have increased in recent weeks, “albeit at low levels”.

Last year, there were no recorded cases of flu transmitted in Ireland, due to Covid-19 related public health measures and severe restrictions imposed by the Government.

The HSE recently launched its winter flu vaccination programme with at-risk groups including pregnant women and those over 65 among those who are being urged to get a flu jab. 

Children in Ireland were offered a free flu jab for the first time last year and the programme has been expanded this year. The programme is now open to children aged 2 to 17 and is available through a nasal spray.

Usually in Ireland, between 200 and 500 people die from flu each winter. Every year around the world, flu causes between three and five million cases of severe disease and up to 646,000 deaths.

This season, the World Health Organization is advising countries to remain vigilant for the flu, and to be prepared for co-circulation of Covid and the flu this winter.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity continued to increase in Ireland and remains at higher levels than usually observed at this time of year.

313 RSV cases were notified this week, an increase compared to 222 cases the previous week. 91% of these cases were in the 0-4 age group.

With reporting from Rónán Duffy.

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