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Photo by the Italian Voice on Flickr
Swine Flu

Swine flu rates have doubled again

The Health Protection Surveillance Unit warns that the bug is here to stay for at least a few more weeks.

THE RATE OF swine flu infection doubled again in the first week in January, and two more people died from the illness.

Elevated flu activity is likely to continue for several weeks, the Health Protection Surveillance Unit is warning.

The Unit’s latest figures reveal that flu is now affecting 204.2 people for every 100,000 of the population – up from 109.5 per 100,000 in the last week of 2010.

Swine flu, or H1N1, is now the main flu virus affecting Irish people, accounting for more than four in five cases. Overall flu levels are now at their highest recorded rate since surveillance began in 2000.

Yesterday, 72 people were being treated in intensive care for the virus, while another 393 people are in hospital.

But if you’re one of those suffering, take heart: successfully battling a bout of swine flu could leave you with a supercharged immune system.