Chief Medical Officer, Professor Breda Smyth (File Image). Leah Farrell
flu season

Ireland has passed the peak of this year’s 'severe' flu season, according to the CMO

Flu cases have decreased by 48% in the past week.

IRELAND HAS PASSED the peak of this year’s “severe” flu season, according to the Chief Medical Officer.

On Tuesday, the interim CEO of the HSE Stephen Mulvaney told TDs that flu, RSV and Covid-19 had been beyond their modelling and that the significant surge had not been predicted.

However, Professor Breda Smyth today said “we appear to have passed the peak of the flu season”, with flu cases decreasing by 48% in the past week.

There’s also been a drop in hospitalisations as a result of the flu, falling from 321 to 114 in the past week.

Professor Smyth added that there are similar trends with Covid-19, with cases and hospitalisations reducing by close to 50% in the past week.

The CMO thanked the public for its efforts in reducing the spread of these respiratory viruses, which “in turn is helping to ease the burden on our healthcare services”.

However, Professor Smyth warned that “we cannot afford to become complacent as these viruses continue to circulate”.

She encouraged people to avail of the flu vaccine, and added that parents and guardians can bring children for the flu nasal spray vaccine to walk in clinics around the country.

Professor Smyth noted that this is a free service that runs until Monday, and no appointment is necessary.

She also encouraged people to avail of a Covid winter booster vaccine, if they are eligible for one.

Earlier this week, Eileen Whelan, the National Lead for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, warned that health authorities have “a lot of work to do” to encourage more people to get vaccinated amid concerns about the potential impact of the Kraken variant XBB.1.5.

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