Miriam Donohoe: Our complacency on flu is risking lives and crippling our already stretched hospitals
If you were unlucky enough to be struck down by a nasty flu over the Christmas and New Year period, you will draw little comfort from the fact that you weren't on your own.
It seems as if half the country was spluttering and coughing into their turkey and mince pies, with figures from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre confirming an almost-doubling of the influenza-like illness rate last month.
During the week ending December 11, the rate was 25.8 per 100,000 people. But this rose to 46.7 per 100,000 people in the week ending December 18, and it continued to increase over the holidays.