The surge in viruses all at once is the worst seen 'within living memory.'
That's the view of Professor of Health Systems in DCU Anthony Staines, as the country's in the grip of COVID-19, flu and RSV.
The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar met the HSE yesterday asking it to use all available resources immediately to ease pressure on hospitals.
Since early December, there has been a “sharp increase” in the number of flu and COVID cases, but Professor Staines says there is still uncertainty around the cause of the surge.
"COVID does not seem to be seasonal, at least not yet anyway", he said.
"We are used to getting flu. We get flu every couple of years. Sometimes we have a bad flu season, sometimes we have a better flu season."
He added that this flu season, while strenuous on resources, is "by no means the worst we've had".
"RSV seems to be going up over recent years for reasons which I don't think anyone really understands, but it's affecting a lot more older people", he said.
A mask mandate has been ruled out by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
A National Crisis Management Team has been set up and there was speculation that masks could be made compulsory again following a meeting between An Taoiseach and the Minister for Health.
“As things stand, we don’t have any proposals to reintroduce a mask mandate,” Mr Varadkar said.
“But we are encouraging people to use masks in crowd settings - particularly, for example, on public transport.
“[We’re] very much saying to people that if you have respiratory symptoms, you should stay at home until they are resolved and also really encouraging people who haven’t taken the flu or COVID vaccine to do so.”
The Chief Medical Officer Prof Breda Smyth is appealing to the public to get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19.
She is also urging those with "any flu-like symptoms at all" to stay at home.
"We have a number of patients in ICU with flu this week and unfortunately none of them have had their flu vaccine", she said.
A flu vaccine can be booked at a GP surgery or pharmacy.
Prof Smyth added that children appear to be particularly vulnerable to the virus, with them accounting for 60% of Australia's COVID-19 hospitalisations.