Ongoing widespread circulation of COVID-19 and influenza
While the regular COVID-19 and influenza surveillance reports will not be published this week during the holiday period, HPSC and surveillance partners continue surveillance activities.
Notifications of COVID-19 and influenza cases and outbreaks continued to increase in week 51 2022. Notifications of RSV which had been declining for several weeks, also increased in week 51.
During week 51 2022 (18th – 24th December)*:
- 2329 influenza cases were notified, among whom 637 were recorded as hospitalised. This compares to 1174 cases and 299 hospitalised cases notified in week 50 (11th – 17th December)
- 3,809 COVID-19 cases were notified among whom 671 were recorded as hospitalised. This compares to 3,118 cases and 664 hospitalised cases recorded in week 50
- 534 RSV cases were notified in week 51, among whom 188 were recorded as This compares to 502 cases and 188 hospitalised cases notified in week 50.
- 27 influenza outbreaks were notified in week 51 compared to 17 in week 50. In week 51 there were:
o 16 influenza outbreaks associated with acute hospitals notified
o 10 influenza outbreaks associated with nursing homes notified
o 1 influenza outbreak associated with other healthcare settings notified
- 115 COVID-19 outbreaks were notified in week 51 compared to 82 in week 50. In week 51 there were:
o 47 COVID-19 outbreaks associated with acute hospitals notified
o 45 COVID-19 outbreaks associated with nursing homes and community hospitals notified
o 23 COVID-19 outbreaks associated with residential settings
- 10 RSV outbreaks were notified in week 51, compared to 4 in week 50. In week 51 there were:
o 3 RSV outbreaks associated with acute hospitals notified
o 7 RSV outbreaks associated with nursing homes and community hospitals notified
*Data are based on cases and outbreaks notified on the Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR) up to midnight 24/12/2022. Data were extracted from CIDR system on 28/12/2022. Data are provisional and subject to ongoing review, validation and update. As a result, figures in this report may differ from previously published figures.
Many people are planning to catch up with friends and family and celebrate the New Year over the next week. Given the widespread circulation of COVID-19, influenza, RSV and other respiratory viruses, we ask everyone to take steps to protect themselves and others from infection. If you have any cold or flu-like symptoms, even mild ones, you should stay at home until 48 hours after your symptoms are mostly or fully gone.
If you are well and meeting people:
- Try to avoid crowded places where you cannot keep a distance
- Check with people before you meet them to make sure they are symptom-free and feeling well
- Meet people outdoors where possible
- Let fresh air into your home by opening windows, doors and air vents as much as possible when you have visitors
If you are unwell, rest, drink plenty of fluids and use over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol to ease symptoms. If you have an underlying condition which places you at higher risk of severe disease from COVID-19 infection (see list of conditions here: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/people-at-higher-risk/overview/) or influenza infection (see list of conditions here: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/flu/getting-the-vaccine/) and develops symptoms you should contact your GP. Your GP may prescribe antiviral medication. If you are not in an at-risk group, but your symptoms are severe or getting worse, you should also contact your GP.
Completing your Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination, including COVID-19 booster doses, will reduce the risk of getting severely ill. For information on influenza vaccination, including how to get the vaccine, go to: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/flu/getting-the-vaccine/. For information on COVID-19 vaccination, go to:
Other things you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, influenza, RSV and other respiratory infections include:
- Wash your hands properly and often
- Wear a face mask in crowded places outdoors and when you move around in public indoor spaces
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve - put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
HPSC wishes everyone a happy and safe New Year.