Tuesday 26 September 2017

Seven more flu deaths takes toll to 36

The main strain of flu circulating is predominantly effecting the over-65s (Stock photo)
The main strain of flu circulating is predominantly effecting the over-65s (Stock photo)
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Seven more people have died of the flu - bringing the death toll to 36 this winter.

However, the good news is that flu is on the wane, according to the HSE.

Dr Kevin Kelleher, HSE assistant national director of public health, said the rate has dropped below the medium-intensity level for the first time in seven weeks.

He warned the main strain of flu circulating is predominantly effecting the over-65s.

Dr Cillian de Gascun, director of the national virus reference laboratory, said the evidence is that the vaccine is a good match for the strains that are circulating.

So far this winter, 1,009 patients have been taken to hospitals, thirty-five have been admitted to intensive care and 90 acute respiratory infections/influenza outbreaks have been reported.

Some 81 of these were in residential care facilities or community hospitals and nine in acute hospitals.

The basic advice to prevent passing on the virus is to: "Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, disposing of the tissue as soon as possible. Cleaning your hands as soon as you afterwards can prevents the spread of germs."

Flu will remain a threat for several weeks to come before it disappears for another winter season.

Irish Independent

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