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Dublin: 18°C Saturday 24 July 2021

38 people have died so far this flu season as hospitalisations rise

There are 112 confirmed cases where people were admitted to critical care units over the flu.

Image: Shutterstock/Tero Vesalainen

THE NUMBER OF hospitalisations in Ireland related to flu has risen in the past week, with the HSE confirming in excess of 2,000 people presenting to hospital so far this season.

The highest hospitalisation rates have been seen in those aged under 5, with a further 13 outbreaks of flu in the last seven days bringing the total number this season to 40.

The HSE also confirmed that 38 flu-related deaths had been reported this season, with the majority of these aged 65 and older.

In all, 112 confirmed flu cases have been admitted to critical care units, with the majority due to the influenza A strain. 

This strain (H1N1) remains the dominant virus in circulation, and influenza is expected to circulate in the community for at least the next three weeks. 

It still isn’t too late to get the vaccine, and those who are at high risk are still being urged to do so. 

People who are considered at risk if they are 65 and over, are pregnant, have a long-term health condition, work in healthcare, are a carer, live in a nursing home or are in regular contact with pigs, poultry or water fowl.

Dr Kevin Kelleher, assistant national director in the Health Protection unit, 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.

If you need to visit your GP or the Emergency Department, please phone first to explain that you might have flu.  Advice, tips, information and videos on getting over flu and other common illnesses are available at the HSE website, www.undertheweather.ie.

About the author:

Sean Murray

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