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This comes against the backdrop of the number of reported cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) increasing in the past week.
Flu rates are now above threshold levels which means that flu is actively circulating in the community, according to HPSC director, Dr Darina O’Flanagan.
“Influenza-like illness increased in all age groups but particularly in those aged less than 65 years. Although flu is starting to circulate, flu activity remains at moderate levels,” said Dr O’Flanagan.
“Prevention is better than cure, and the increase in flu activity means it is even more important to get your flu jab if you are in an at-risk group.”
At risk groups include all those aged 65 years and older and people including children with a long-term medical condition such as diabetes, heart, kidney, liver, lung or neurological disease. Health care workers and carers of those in risk groups are also urged to get vaccinated.
“People in ‘at risk’ groups should get the vaccine as they are at much greater risk of becoming seriously unwell if they catch flu, and sadly many end up in hospital,” said Dr O’Flanagan.