Revealed: Children among 55 to die from flu this year as death toll rises
The death toll from flu this season has climbed to 55, new figures released today reveal.
This is an increase of 21 victims in the space of a week.
The majority of people who have died from the virus are over 65 years old, with a small number of fatalities among children.
The good news is that the spread of flu is falling but so far it is a small decrease.
And it will continue to circulate for six weeks, said HSE public health specialist Dr John Cuddihy.
There were 318 patients hospitalised with flu last week, down from 500 in the first week of the year.
Nursing homes continue to be badly affected with outbreaks of flu.
The level of viral illnesses is widespread this winter because there are also a lot of other non-flu infections posing a risk, said Dr Cillian De Gascun, of the UCD Virus Reference Laboratory.