Two hospitalised at Cork University Hospital as swine flu warning issued 

Two hospitalised at Cork University Hospital as swine flu warning issued 

TWO people are being treated at Cork University Hospital for swine flu, it has been confirmed.

The revelation comes amid warnings of a serious public health issue as it was confirmed that at least two, and possibly four, people have died nationwide and 62 people have been hospitalised with the illness.

The flu strain is affecting people in their 20s and 30s as well as traditionally vulnerable older age groups.

The HSE’s Assistant National Director for Public Health, Dr Kevin Kelleher, has revealed that a number of people have been admitted to hospital intensive care units with swine flu.

Flu activity increased during the last two weeks of 2018 and there are concerns that it will spread further as people return to workplaces and schools on Monday following the festive holidays.

Cork GP Dr Nick Flynn has urged people to get the flu vaccine to prevent further spread of the disease.

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine contains protection against three strains of flu virus, recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), including swine flu.

“If you haven’t got the vaccine yet, I would urge people to do so as it could prevent further spread,” said Dr Flynn.

“The vaccine is hugely important, especially if you’re in the vulnerable groups or are a carer.

“People have a responsibility to themselves, to the elderly or sick people they know and a responsibility to already overburdened health services and the community.

“Swine flu can be very serious. Patients can get a lot sicker than with other cases of flu and have more complications, including pneumonia or meningitis.”

While CUH is in line with national trends of increasing influenza detections, a statement from the hospital revealed that all detections in the past few weeks have been Influenza A — swine flu.

“We cannot confirm the subtype of all of these Influenza A detections, but we have had some confirmed Influenza A (H1N1) cases, two of which are currently admitted in CUH,” a spokesperson said.

Dr Kelleher explained that data shows that flu levels are likely to increase over the coming weeks when flu begins to actively circulate in the community.

“Flu is now beginning to circulate, and as schools reopen and people return to work we are likely to see increased levels.”

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