The HSE has warned anyone with flu-like symptoms to stay at home from work or school as the winter flu strain looks set to get worse.
At least 190 people have been hospitalised with flu around the country and that figure is expected to rise. Parents are being advised to keep sick children at home when schools reopen next week.
Dr. Kevin Kelleher of the HSE said:
"The issue is that we want to make sure it's not spread.
"Going back to work when you've got symptoms or going to school when you've got symptoms will spread it. Flu spreads very easily, particularly in closed areas like a classroom or workplace.
"If your child has the symptoms, please don't send them into school - look after them at home. Likewise, if you've got the symptoms, don't go into work."
Health Minister Simon Harris echoed Dr. Kelleher's sentiments by saying:
"I am worried about the spread of the flu when kids go back to school.
"We're seeing a strain of flu that is affecting children this year we didn't see last year. I would advise parents, if your child is under the weather, please keep them home from school next week."