Children being treated for flu-like illnesses as cases in Limerick continue to rise 

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh, Health Correspondent

There have been 27 confirmed flu cases at University Hospital Limerick since December 2018

There have been 27 confirmed flu cases at University Hospital Limerick since December 2018

ALMOST a third of flu patients in the Mid-West are under 10 years old, according to new figures received by the Limerick Leader.

Since December last, there have been 72 cases reported in the Mid-West, comprising Limerick, Clare and Tipperary, the HSE figures show.

These cases also include Mid-West residents who were diagnosed outside the Mid-West region, a spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said.

As of January 14, there have been 72 cases; 23 of which were aged under 10 years; 31 cases were older than 50; 45 cases were hospital inpatients; 27 of whom were at University Hospital Limerick.

A spokesperson for the UL Hospitals Group said the “best way to protect against flu is get the flu vaccine”.

It is understood that there are a number of children being treated at University Hospital Limerick with flu-like symptoms and illnesses. 

“This year’s vaccine is a good match for the strains of flu that are circulating and it is not too late to be vaccinated.

“All those in at-risk groups are urged to get the vaccine - these include people aged 65 and older, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases. We are encouraging all healthcare workers to get vaccinated.”

While an outbreak has yet to be declared, the HSE is predicting an increase in flu cases over the coming weeks as the mercury begins to drop. 

Meanwhile, nurses and midwives are still set to engage in strike action as of January 30, with the possibility of five extra strike days in February.