Winter flu claims 92 lives so far with 320 hospitalised

The flu has claimed 92 lives over the winter so far. Most of those who died were aged 65 and over.

Winter flu claims 92 lives so far with 320 hospitalised

The number of deaths directly attributed to the virus rose by 22 over the last two weeks.

There were 320 people with flu symptoms hospitalised last week and 57% had the B virus, according to the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

There were 129 patient flu sufferers admitted to critical care. The current vaccine does not offer full protection against the B virus.

There were 11 acute respiratory infection and flu outbreaks reported last week, an increase on seven cases the previous week.

The centre says flu activity continues to decrease but still remains widespread and at high levels.

GP consultation rates remained highest in children under four years, and those aged five to 14.

Flu is expected to continue circulating in the community for the next three to four weeks.

The threat from the virus comes as the numbers on trolleys in acute hospitals reached 528 yesterday.

The latest tally by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation is up 24% on the 425 recorded on the same day last year.

University Hospital Limerick has the highest numbers of patients on trolleys in its emergency department and in wards, with 55, a 48% increase on the same day last year when there were 37.

University Hospital Cork had the second highest number, with 53 patients waiting, a 60% increase on the 33 waiting last year.

The HSE recorded a 20% increase in waiters compared to the same day last year, but it only counts patients waiting on trolleys in emergency departments.

The health authority counted 364 patients on trolleys, with 197 waiting over nine hours and 53 waiting over 24 hours.

On the same day last year there were 302 people waiting on trolleys, with 123 waiting over nine hours.

By early afternoon, the number of patients on trolleys had fallen to 254, with 170 waiting over nine hours and 39 waiting more than 24 hours.

The HSE said it counted 18 patients on trolleys in UHL, with the number increasing to 21 in the afternoon while the number of people waiting in CUH decreased from 30 to 20 throughout the day.

Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, Co Meath, had the highest number of people waiting with 36. The figure fell to 11 in the afternoon.

There were 19 children on trolleys in the three Dublin-based paediatric hospitals, with 11 waiting over nine hours.

Temple Street Children’s Hospital was particularly busy with 14 children on trolleys and nine waiting more than nine hours.

Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin had three children on trolleys and two were waiting over nine hours.

Tallaght Children’s Hospital had two children on trolleys, with no child waiting more than nine hours.

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