Flu begins to circulate as reported cases triple in week, latest figures show

At-risk groups have been urged to get vaccinated against the influenza

Flu has begun to circulate this winter, just as the last Covid-19 restrictions are being removed.

The number of reported flu cases almost tripled in the past week, according to the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre. It has urged people in at-risk groups to get vaccinated against the disease.

There were 37 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza last week, compared to 13 the previous week. The median age of cases was 23 years.

Thirteen of the cases were hospital inpatients, with a median age of 69.

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With a positivity rate of 10 per cent, the HPSC considers flu to be officially circulating in Ireland.

Since last October, 120 confirmed cases have been notified to the HPSC, of which 34 involved hospitalised patients. So far this winter, there have been two flu deaths and two hospital outbreaks on influenza A, one of which was reported last week.

The flu vaccine is available for free in GP surgeries and pharmacies for children, over-50s and other at-risk groups.

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is a former heath editor of The Irish Times.