FOUR more people died from flu-related illnesses across Ireland last week, the HSE has revealed.
The health service also said that the number of confirmed influenza hospitalisations and the number of confirmed influenza outbreaks increased in week seven compared to the previous week.
More than 2,000 people have been hospitalised with flu this season, with the majority of these under the age of five. 38 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, while the highest ICU admission rates have been among adults aged 45 years and older and children under five years of age.
Thirteen influenza outbreaks were reported during week seven, bringing the season total to 40 influenza outbreaks.
The HSE said it is still not too late to get the flu vaccine and those in high-risk groups are urged to get vaccinated against influenza. The current vaccine remains a good match for the circulating influenza viruses.
It is also recommended that antivirals be considered for the treatment and prevention of influenza in at-risk groups.
“Anyone who gets flu should stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and use over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol to ease symptoms,” said Dr Kevin Kelleher, Assistant National Director, Health Protection.
“Anyone in one of the high-risk groups should contact their GP if they develop influenza symptoms.
“If you need to visit your GP or the Emergency Department, please phone first to explain that you might have flu.”
Advice, tips, information and videos on the flue flu on www.undertheweather.ie.