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Two die from flu in past week

Two people have died in the last week after suffering from flu, health chiefs revealed today.

Both deaths occurred in patients with underlying medical conditions, the Department of Health said.

The number of people suffering from flu needing hospital care has continued to increase, with 393 cases taken in for treatment up until yesterday.

Statistics gathered by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) revealed 72 people were admitted to intensive care for treatment.

Officials said one of the flu-associated deaths was a person aged over 65 and the other under 65.

And they said the swine flu H1N1 virus was the predominant strain in Ireland, accounting for 81% of all positive specimens this season.

The HPSC said it expects to see continued elevated influenza activity for several weeks.