Cork University Hospital saw almost 10% of flu admittances nationally in the flu season just gone, the Echo can reveal.
More than 160 people were admitted to CUH with flu in recent months.
The flu season which began last October and could run into April has seen more than 2,000 people admitted to hospitals across Ireland.
The latest information from the HSE revealed that almost 40 flu-related deaths have been reported to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), the majority occurring in those aged 65 years and older.
One hundred and twelve confirmed flu cases have been admitted to critical care units so far this season with the majority due to influenza A with the highest ICU admission rates among adults aged 45 years and older and children under five years of age.
A statement from CUH to the Echo confirmed that “164 patients with flu were admitted to CUH this flu season.”
The same information has been requested from the Mercy University Hospital on a number of occasions since the flu season began last year.
No information has been received yet.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently labelled a global flu pandemic as one of the major health threats on a global scale.
The WHO warned that the world will face another influenza pandemic.
“The only thing we don’t know is when it will hit and how severe it will be.
“Global defences are only as effective as the weakest link in any country’s health emergency preparedness and response system.”
WHO is constantly monitoring the circulation of influenza viruses to detect potential pandemic strains: 153 institutions in 114 countries are involved in global surveillance and response.
Every year, WHO recommends which strains should be included in the flu vaccine to protect people from seasonal flu.
In the event that a new flu strain develops pandemic potential, WHO has set up a unique partnership with all the major players to ensure effective and equitable access to diagnostics, vaccines and antivirals (treatments), especially in developing countries.