As levels of influenza and respiratory illness continue to rise throughout the country over the past two weeks , the HSE has urged at-risk people, who have not yet received the flu vaccination, to do so as soon as possible.
They can get the vaccine from their local GP or pharmacist.
The latest Influenza surveillance report from Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) shows an almost doubling of the influenza like illness rate (ILI) to 46.7, compared with 25.8 for the previous week. The ILI rate is expected to increase further in the coming weeks.
Furthermore, there have been several ILI outbreaks in both residential care facilities and in acute hospital settings throughout the country, but particularly in the Dublin area. The predominant flu strain is AH3 which is affecting mostly older people rather than younger age groups.
If you feel that you have picked up the flu, usually you do not need to see your doctor or attend an emergency department as most flu can be treated at home. It is advised that you drink plenty of fluids to replace those lost from sweating. Get lots of rest and eat healthily. However, if you are at risk of complications from flu you may need to see a doctor as there are specific anti-viral medicines available which you might need. These work best if started within 48 hours of flu symptoms.
The website www.undertheweather.ie gives a range of practical advice on how to mind yourself or your family if you feel the onset of flu-like symptoms.
Last updated on: 03 / 01 / 2017