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HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre – Urgent Notice

The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre has urged people in high-risk groups to get vaccinated against influenza, as the number of reported cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) in Ireland has increased in the last week.

ILI rates have risen from 20.5 per 100,000 population to 32.4 per 100,000 population during the second week of February and are now above threshold levels which means that flu is actively circulating in the community.

It is still not too late for people who are at risk of the complications of flu to get vaccinated against the disease if they have not already done so. The vaccine is available from Athboy Family Practice for all people in at risk groups.

High-risk groups are:

  • All those aged 65 years and older
  • People including children with chronic illness requiring regular medical follow-up such as chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, chronic neurological disorders, neuro-developmental disorders and diabetes
  • Those with lower immunity due to disease or treatment
  • All pregnant women. The vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy.
  • Those with morbid obesity i.e. Body Mass Index ≥ 40
  • Residents of nursing homes, old people’s homes and other long stay facilities
  • Health care workers and carers of those in risk groups.

The symptoms of influenza usually develop over a matter of a few hours and include a high temperature, sore muscles, dry cough, headache and sore throat. This is different from the common cold, which tends to come on more gradually and usually includes a runny nose and a normal temperature.

Anyone in one of the high-risk categories should contact their GP if they develop influenza symptoms.

Source: www.hse.ie


  • Click here for more detailed information
  • Information Leaflet on the Winter Flu Vaccine 2013 -2014. Available here.
  • Information Leaflet for Pregnant Women on the Winter Flu Vaccine 2013-2014. Available here.
  • Information Leaflet for Healthcare Workers on the Winter Flu Vaccine 2013-2014. Available here.