The HSE has warned that influenza activity continues to decrease but still remains widespread and at high levels.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre’s latest Influenza Surveillance Report reveals that Influenza A (H3N2, or the Aussie Flu) and B currently the predominant viruses circulating in the community, with a higher proportion of Influenza B detected.
The flu is currently categorised as having “regional activity” in Donegal.
A HSE spokesperson says that influenza is expected to circulate in the community for the next three to four weeks.
Less people are going to their GP with the flu, with the sentinel GP influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rate decreasing to 65.7 per 100,000 population during last week, from 72.3 per 100,000 in the previous week. Consultation rates remained highest in those aged between 0-4 and 5-14.
The report states that the rates of influenza have been above the Irish baseline threshold (17.5 per 100,000) for nine consecutive weeks.
For the season to date, 2465 confirmed influenza hospitalised cases have been notified to HPSC – 320 of these cases were reported last week. Those aged 65 year and older are the most vulnerable, with the highest rate of influenza hospitalisations occurring in this age group. 92 deaths in notified influenza cases were reported to HPSC this season, with a median age of 79 years.
According to the HSE, the symptoms of influenza usually develop over a matter of a few hours and include a high temperature, sore muscles, dry cough, headache and sore throat. This is different from the common cold, which tends to come on more gradually and usually includes a runny nose and a normal temperature.
Those in high-risk categories should visit their GP if they begin to develop influenza symptoms. GPs may wish to prescribe antivirals to those in high-risk groups.
Advice, tips, information and videos on getting over flu and other common illnesses are available at a new HSE website, www.undertheweather.ieTags: