Significant drop in number of people sick with respiratory infections

The number of hospitalisations has also declined.

THE HSE HAS reported a reduction in the number of people presenting with respiratory infections following a spike at the start of the year. 

During the second week of 2023, reported cases of these infections dropped significantly.

The stats are as follows: 

  • Covid-19: 47% drop in the number of cases
  • Influenza: 48% drop in the number of cases
  • RSV: 38% drop in the number of cases.

The number of people hospitalised with these respiratory viruses has also decreased during the second week of this year, the HSE said. Covid hospitalisations dropped by 47% while flu and RSV admissions decreased by 49% and 26% respectively. 

Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, said: “The latest data would suggest that the flu season has peaked, and that the pressure from Covid-19 and RSV continues to decline.

“However, even if this pattern continues, we expect ongoing pressure on the healthcare system from these viruses. I would like to acknowledge the work of the healthcare teams across the country in both hospitals and the community during these past number of weeks.

“We urge ongoing compliance to public health advice, including vaccination against influenza and Covid-19 for eligible groups, as well as the importance of staying at home for people with respiratory symptoms until after they have resolved”.

Stephen Mulvany, Interim CEO of the HSE, also said there have been significant improvements with regards to conditions in emergency departments.

He said there has been a decrease in the numbers of patients on a trolley awaiting a hospital bed.

“If, as we hope, the flu season has peaked, it will still take some weeks before the pressure on hospitals eases. We continue to work to drive these numbers down further, in a safe way,” he added.

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