HSE warns 55 people have died from flu this season

Anyone within the ‘at-risk’ groups should still avail of the flu vaccine

HSE warns 55 people have died from flu this season

File photo dated 25/04/13 of a teenager having a measles vaccination. Picture by: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive/PA Images

The HSE is warning that the flu may not have reached its peak as of yet.

The executive has said that 55 people have died from flu so far this year.

The majority of those who died were over the age of 65, however a small number – less than ten – were children.

HSE Director of Public Health, Dr John Cuddihy said flu will remain in the community for up to ten weeks.

Flu vaccine

He said anyone within the ‘at-risk’ groups – in particular health care workers, those over the age of 65 and people with chronic illnesses – should still avail of the flu vaccine.

Nearly 320 people were hospitalised with confirmed influenza last week – with 92 admitted to critical care units:

“The flu is still at high levels,” he said. “It may have peaked this week.”

“We will know more when we see next week’s data; to look at the weeks together to see what the trend is.

“But it is likely that we will see flu circulating in the community for another nine or ten weeks.”

The HSE provides the flu and pneumococcal vaccine free of charge for anyone classified as within the ‘at-risk’ groups.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) says 530 patients were on hospital trolleys today including 20 children.

Reporting from Paul Quinn ...