The HSE has issued a health warning concerning a gastro virus that is currently in the community and affecting hospitals across the country.
Norovirus, a stomach bug equivalent to the common cold, is highly infectious and normally affects at least 1% of the population in any given year.
Measures to curtail the virus have been stepped up as the HSE released a statement appealing to the public to stay clear of hospital if they have been affected by the bug.
Precise infection figures are not known as many people suffering from Norovirus will recover at home without seeking medical attention.
Cases have been recorded in a number of hospitals and community settings around the country in recent weeks.
Hospitals have infection control measures in place.
If affected in the community, the HSE recommends frequent hand-washing to limit the spread of the illness. It is very resilient and can survive for long periods on surfaces.