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Saturday 9 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Shutterstock/eldar nurkovic

The number of people with the flu doubled during December

There were 46.7 cases per 100,000 people in Ireland suffering last month.

DID YOU SUFFER with the flu over December?

You weren’t on your own. There was an almost-doubling of the influenza like illness rate (ILI) in the last report issued by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

During the week ending 11 December, the rate was 25.8 per 100,000 people. That rose to 46.7 in the week ending 18 December and continued to increase over Christmas and the New Year.

The HSE expects it to rise even further in the coming weeks and has today urged people – especially those in at risk groups – to get the flu vaccination.

In a statement late last night, the HSE confirmed there have been several flu outbreaks in both residential care facilities and in acute hospital settings around the country, with Dublin being significantly impacted.

The predominant strain is AH3 which affects mostly older people.

People suffering with the flu are advised not to go to hospital as it can be treated from home.

The HSE says: “It is advised that you drink plenty of fluids to replace those lost from sweating. Get lots of rest and eat healthily.

However, if you are at risk of complications from  flu you may need to see a doctor as there are specific anti-viral medicines available which you might need. These work best if started within 48 hours of flu symptoms.”

There has also been an increase in presentations to some hospitals of people with Norovirus. Cork University Hospital yesterday asked people to stay away from its emergency department as it dealt with “very high demand”. It had to close 16 beds due to the large number of patients with the winter vomiting bug.


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