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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020

Seven people have died from flu this winter as medics warn people to take care

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre said 341 people were admitted to hospital for flu in the last two weeks of 2016.

Image: Peter Byrne/PA

SEVEN PEOPLE HAVE died as a result of the flu this winter season, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

In their weekly report, the health body confirmed the number of people who passed away as a result of influenza and also detailed how there were 341 cases of flu in the last two weeks of 2016.

The weekly report read: “Seven confirmed influenza cases died and were notified to HPSC this season to date. Overall, influenza activity in Ireland increased during weeks 51 and 52 2016. Influenza A(H3) is the predominant influenza virus circulating this season.

“Confirmed influenza hospitalisations and influenza outbreaks are currently at high levels and are continuing to increase, with those aged 65 years and older most affected.

“Respiratory admissions reported from a sentinel hospital network were at very high levels.”

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Dr Kevin Kelleher, director of public health with the HSE, said hospitals are being overwhelmed by the number of flu cases.

He urged the public, especially those over the age of 65, to get vaccinated. It was also noted that 15 of the 341 people admitted to hospital were placed in intensive care units across the country.

Kelleher said: “The best protection for people from the flu virus is the flu vaccine, yet every year many people in at risk groups fail to get vaccinated and so put themselves at risk of serious illness or even death.

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