The HSE confirm deadly virus has KILLED more than 20 people18th Jan 18 | News
The HSE has confirmed that 24 people have died as a result of the flu virus so far this season.
The statistic was released today in a report by the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
The report also noted the average age of people who lost their lives as a result of contracting the flu was 68 and underlying conditions were thought to be a factor in many, but not all of the fatalities.
463 people were hospitalised with influenza in the second week of the new year (8th Jan- 14th Jan) bringing the total number of hospitalised flu cases to 1019 for the season so far with 52 people admitted to critical care units.
The highest recorded rates of flu have been in people aged 65 years and over with the second highest rates in those aged less than 1 year old.
The HSE also confirmed the reported cases of flu remained high this week and they expect the virus to continue to circulate for the next four weeks but Assistant National Director for Health Protection Dr Kevin Kelleher believes the flu outbreak has now peaked.
"There's just been a little bit of an increase this week, nowhere near the same degree of upsurges we've seen in the previous two or three weeks," he said.
"That would suggest either last week or this week will be the peak. The internal bet in our office is last week."
The HSE are also reminding people in at risk categories that it is not too late to get vaccinated.