HSE issues warning over serious new flu strain
Flu levels are likely to increase throughout January.
The Health Service Executive is urging all people in at-risk groups for the flu to get vaccinated if they have yet to do so, as the virulent H1N1 flu strain makes its presence felt in Ireland.
At-risk groups include people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses.
Healthcare workers are also advised to avail of the vaccine in order to protect both themselves and those that they care for.
“Flu is now beginning to circulate, and as schools reopen and people return to work we are likely to see increased levels," said HSE’s Assistant National Director for Public Health Dr Kevin Kelleher.
"The predominant strain currently circulating is H1N1, which is affecting younger age groups more than strains that have circulated in previous years. This year’s vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and it is not too late to get the vaccine.”
Kelleher notes that while most people will recover from flu symptoms by themselves, anyone concerned about their condition should telephone their GP or an out of hours medical service.
"People with symptoms should stay at home and children should not attend school if showing signs of flu," he added.
For information and tips on dealing with and preventing the transmission of flu visit the HSE's Under the Weather website.