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Flu cases won’t peak until mid-January, says HSE


Ireland’s current flu outbreak will not peak until the middle of January, when up to 800 people could be hospitalised per week due to the virus, according to the Health Service Executive.

HSE officials made the prediction at a winter viruses meeting today, which also heard that the new JN.1 Covid variant is now becoming the dominant strain here and that while RSV cases are falling, they remain high.

The HSE National Clinical Lead for Health Protection Surveillance said more than 10,000 flu cases have been recorded since the middle of December.

Dr Greg Martin said this figure has not peaked and is expected to reach 2,700 cases per week and 800 hospitalisations per week by the middle of January before an expected fall.

HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry told the meeting that the JN.1 Covid variant is now becoming the dominant strain in Ireland.

Dr Henry said that while the new variant is not believed to be more dangerous, it spreads more easily and is expected to continue to have an impact here until spring.

The HSE meeting also heard that while RSV cases are falling they remain high, and that the public should continue to adhere to infection prevention measures.

The meeting came as Portiuncula Hospital in Co Galway announced visitor restrictions due to a flu and Covid outbreak.


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