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Three confirmed cases of the flu last week

No flu hospitalised or critical-care cases were notified during the past six weeks.

Image: Shutterstock/fizkes

THREE MORE CASES of the flu in Ireland were confirmed last week.

The cases are confirmed in the latest HPSC weekly report on flu surveillance, which remains at low levels – while cases and hospitalisations of RSV remain high.

No confirmed flu hospitalised or critical-care cases were notified to HPSC during those past six weeks.

Last year, there were no recorded cases of flu transmitted in Ireland, due to Covid-19 related public health measures and severe restrictions imposed by the Government.

The HPSC said that in Europe, “sporadic” influenza detections at “a low level” have been reported in recent weeks.

The HSE recently launched its winter flu vaccination programme with at-risk groups including pregnant women and those over 65 among those who are being urged to get a flu jab. 

Children in Ireland were offered a free flu jab for the first time last year and the programme has been expanded this year. The programme is now open to children aged 2 to 17 and is available through a nasal spray.

Usually in Ireland, between 200 and 500 people die from flu each winter. Every year around the world, flu causes between three and five million cases of severe disease and up to 646,000 deaths.

This season, the World Health Organization is advising countries to remain vigilant for the flu, and to be prepared for co-circulation of Covid and the flu this winter.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activity continued to increase in Ireland and remains at higher levels than usually observed at this time of year.

490 RSV cases were notified this week, with 510 cases the previous week.

Over 72% of RSV cases notified during last week were aged 0-4 group, compared to 95% in early October, with detections in other age groups increasing in recent weeks, notably in those aged 65 years old and older.

Last week, 193 notified RSV cases were reported as hospital in-patients, compared to 236 during the previous week.

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