The HSE is urging all people in at-risk groups for the flu to get vaccinated if they have not done so already.

Those in at-risk groups include people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people with chronic illness. Healthcare workers should also get the vaccine to protect themselves and those that they care for.

HSE’s Assistant National Director for Public Health and Director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dr Kevin Kelleher, explains that data shows that flu levels are likely to increase over the coming weeks when flu begins to actively circulate in the community. However, this year’s flu vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu:

“Flu is now beginning to circulate, and as schools reopen and people return to work we are likely to see increased levels. The predominant strain currently circulating is H1N1, which is affecting younger age groups more than strains that have circulated in previous years. This year’s vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and it is not too late to get the vaccine.”

“While most people will get better themselves from flu, anyone who is concerned about their condition should telephone their GP or an out of hours medical service so they can arrange to be treated in a way that does not put others at risk. People with symptoms should stay at home and children should not attend school if showing signs of flu.”

For information and tips on dealing with and preventing the transmission of flu visit the HSE website www.undertheweather.ie

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