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Swine Flu

HSE says flu rates have peaked

Over 749 people hospitalised with flu this season and 6 more flu-related deaths last week, according to the latest HSE figures.

THE HSE SAYS IT BELIEVES flu rates have peaked, but says 12 people have died from flu-related causes this winter.

It says that 11 of those people suffered from underlying health problems.

Ten of the deaths are related to H1N1, or swine flu, and two are due to Influenza B, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).

So far this season, 749 people have been hospitalised with flu, of which almost three-quarters were suffering from swine flu.

Although the proportion of new Influenza B cases has been increasing in recent weeks, the HSE says that the number of people contacting their doctor for flu-like illnesses has fallen:

The number of people presenting with flu-like-illness (ILI) to GPs has dropped to a rate of 110 per 100,000, down from 171.4 per 100,000 last week. The drop has occurred in all age groups except for those aged 5 to 14 years.  This fall has also been seen in the number of flu related calls to GP out-of-hours on call services.

The HSE also said that 43 people are currently in intensive care units being treated for flu.

The health service said that because the number of deaths from flu is recorded after death certificates have been issued, there is a slight delay in reporting deaths. It expects more deaths to become known in the coming weeks “pending the issuing of death certificates by coroners”.

A HSE website,, has been set up to provide advice on how to manage colds and flus at home and information on the flu vaccine.

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