Influenza activity now at low levels


Influenza activity continued to decrease with community cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) reported from the Irish sentinel GP network now at very low levels. Hospitalised influenza cases and influenza outbreaks continue to be reported at low to moderate levels.

The sentinel GP ILI consultation rate was 3.6 per 100,000 population during week ending April 8th. It remained low in all age groups. Influenza A and B continue to co-circulate at low levels. The number of hospitalised influenza cases continues to decrease with the highest rates of influenza hospitalisations observed in those aged 65 years and older.

To date this season, 4,426 hospitalised confirmed influenza cases have been reported to HPSC, surpassing the number reported during the 2009 influenza pandemic. One hundred and eighty three confirmed influenza cases have been admitted to critical care units so far this season. To date this season, 193 influenza associated deaths have been reported to HPSC. As influenza activity is now below baseline activity levels, the influenza report will now be published fortnightly with the next report due on April 26th.

As influenza is still circulating in the community, albeit at very low levels, actions to prevent the spread of flu to others are outlined below. Advice on what to do if you develop flu-like symptoms is also outlined below.

Preventing spread to others
Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough and sneeze (catch it), disposing of the tissue as soon as possible (bin it) and cleaning your hands as soon as you can (kill it) are important measures in helping prevent the spread of germs and reducing the risk of transmission.

Posters on preventing spread are available on the HPSC website. Influenza advice for schools is available on the HPSC website.

What to do if you have flu-like symptoms
Anyone who gets flu should stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and use over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol to ease symptoms.

Advice, tips, information and videos on getting over flu and other common illnesses are available at a new HSE website, 

When to seek help

If you are in an at risk group with flu symptoms OR if you are not in an at risk group but your flu symptoms are severe or getting worse you should contact your GP. GPs may wish to prescribe antivirals for those presenting with influenza in the at risk groups. If you need to visit your GP or the Emergency Department, please phone first to explain that you might have flu.

If your child has flu and their symptoms are severe or last for more than one week contact your GP. Please phone first to explain that they might have flu.

See HPSC website here for all information on influenza