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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C

No cases of flu recorded by HSE so far this winter

Two deaths and 107 new cases of the illness were reported in the same week last year.

LATEST FIGURES SHOW that no cases of flu have been transmitted in Ireland this winter.

Figures released by the HSE show that there have been no outbreaks of the illness since early October, the period when annual counts traditionally begin.

The health service noted that the low figures are due to the disruption that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused to influenza networks across the globe.

Figures from the same time last year show that there were two deaths and 107 new confirmed cases of the flu reported during the same week in 2019, with 143 patients in hospital with the illness on 8 December.

The trends follow those seen in southern hemisphere countries earlier this year, where very low levels of flu were reported in winter.

Among more than 60,000 specimens tested in Australia by late September, only 33 influenza positive test results were detected.

There were also just 12 cases detected among more than 21,000 specimens tested in China and six among 2,098 specimens tested in South Africa by the same date.

Professor Ian Barr, deputy director of the World Health Organisation’s collaborating centre for reference and research on influenza in Melbourne told The Guardian that flu cases had “fallen off a cliff since March”.

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