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Swine Flu Cases Up By Over 25%

At least 229 people have now been admitted to hospital with swine flu in the Republic of Ireland, according to the latest Health Service Executive (HSE) figures. This is an increase of 46 on last week’s numbers.

This news comes as the HSE continues preparations to vaccinate people around the country against the virus, possibly beginning on October 19th next starting with persons with underlying medical conditions. Healthy children will be next in line and and the final group will be vaccinated in special HSE operated clinics as yet to be set up around the country. The vaccination of the State’s “healthy” adult population will possibly not get under way until early next year.

Chief Medical Officer Mr Tony Holohan said that the rate of influenza like illnesses being detected amongst young people were a cause of great concern. He further stated:-

“In some younger people we know that the rate is running at about 135 per week, which is an increase from about 50 on the previous week in children up to the age of four. In children between five and fourteen it runs at about 140 so you can see that it is quite a spread of infection among younger people.”

The HSE is still unsure about the level of supplies of vaccine it will receive over the coming months. Meanwhile what should you be doing to hault the spread of this virus? Have a look at the video below.

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Health Minister Mary Harney said funds were being provided to expand the intensive care capacity in hospitals and train staff to deal with the rise in numbers of people who will have to be admitted with the virus over the winter. A HSE spokesman said the there were currently 289 hospital critical care beds in hospitals and the aim was to the double the capacity.

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