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34 people have died from the flu so far this season

The majority of people who died were over the age of 65.

Image: Shutterstock/Tero Vesalainen

A TOTAL OF 34 people have died from the flu so far this season, with the HSE confirming that the virus is still circulating in Ireland. 

In its flu update, the HSE said that indicators around flu show that it remained stable during week six of the year, the week ending last Sunday (10 February). 

The executive said that of the 34 people who have died from the flu, the majority were aged 65 or older. 

The number of people hospitalised as a result of the flu decreased during week six, with the highest hospitalisation rates being seen in children aged less than five years old.

To date this season, 1,672 hospitalised confirmed influenza cases have been reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), the majority due to influenza A.

A total of 88 confirmed flu cases have been admitted to critical care units so far this season. 

There were six flu outbreaks reported during week six, bringing the total number of outbreaks 27. 

The HSE once again reminded people once again that it’s not too late to get the flu vaccine. 

Dr Kevin Kelleher, assistant national director of Health Protection at the HSE also gave guidelines to people on how to avoid spreading the flu.

“Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, disposing of the tissue as soon as possible and cleaning your hands as soon as you can are important measures in helping prevent the spread of influenza and other germs and reducing the risk of transmission,” he said. 

“Anyone who gets flu should stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and use over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol to ease symptoms. 

Anyone in one of the high-risk groups should contact their GP if they develop influenza symptoms.

The HSE has also confirmed that Acute Emergency Departments (ED) have been challenged over the past two weeks with many sites experiencing increases in patient attendances.  

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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