Wednesday 22 November 2017

The flu has killed seven people so far this winter

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)
Health Minister Simon Harris
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

The flu virus has killed seven people so far this winter it has emerged.

Six people died between December 19 and January 1 according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre' s (HSPC) latest update on the virus.

All of those who died due to the flu were aged 60 and over and the HSE has warned that we have not yet reached peak flu season.

According to the report 270 hospitalisations have been reported to the HSPC as a result of the flu, and 15 of those people were admitted to critical care units.

Previously revealed that only 1 in 3 hospital staff had received the flu vaccine as teh Government considers introducing mandatory vaccinations for health-care workers.

The HSE has urged all at-risk people, including health-care workers, pregnant women and older persons, to get vaccinated.

Meanwhile, there is also an upsurge in the number of people contracting the winter vomiting bug.

In the last five weeks the number of cases reported to the HSPC has tripled.

It is expected that the upsurge will last until the end of February.

The bug is often characterised by public vomiting because the symptoms can come on so quickly patients do not have time to get to the bathroom th HSPC said.

The flu and winter bug outbreaks come as under-fire Health Minister is under fire for being the latest Minister to oversee a winter overcrowding crisis in Irish hospitals.

Earlier this week a record 612 people were on trolleys in hospitals around the country.

The number fell to 358 on Friday but Minister Harris is facing further criticism from the Irish Nurses and Midwives Association that new beds he has pledged to open were already due to be delivered.


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