There were no new flu cases recorded last week, with just two cases in total reported so far in the country this year.
Neither of those two flu cases reported required hospitalisation. This is the second week in a row that the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre (HSPC) has reported no new cases of flu.
Measures in place to control the spread of Covid-19, such as the wearing of masks and social distancing, are believed to be helping to prevent transmission of flu.
Influenza is a serious infection that can cause life‐threatening complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis, especially in those aged 65 and older, children under 4 years of age, those with long term medical conditions and pregnant women.
Influenza also leads to an increased incidence of heart attacks and strokes.
According to the HSE, between 200 and 500 people die as a result of influenza each year in Ireland. In a severe season up to 1000 people could die.
Concerns have been raised in recent weeks about one strain in particular. The H3N2 form of flu appears to cause more severe infection in older people.
The HSE recently reminded the public that at risk groups can get their free flu vaccine this winter.
Those who are pregnant or have a certain long term medical condition can get their free vaccine through participating GPs and pharmacies.
The HSE also reminded other recommended groups that they can still get vaccinated through the same channels, or through your workplace if you’re a healthcare worker.
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