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31st Dec 2017

BREAKING: First Irish Deaths Confirmed In Aussie Flu Outbreak

Megan Cassidy

Aussie flu has claimed its first lives in Ireland. 

Experts from the HSE today revealed that there have been “less than 10” deaths as a result of Aussie flu, according to the Irish Mirror.

Aussie flu hit Ireland earlier this year, with 73 hospitalised by the virus which has taken 300 lives in Australia. 

Now doctors have warned that children are most at risk from the illness. 

Kevin Kelleher, of Ireland’s Health Service Executive, told The Independent

“There have been a few deaths already… under 10 people have died so far this year.

“I don’t give specific numbers when it’s less than 10 because people could be identified.

“There are deaths every year that happen directly as a result of the flu, which account for about 18 to 20 fatalities.

“On average, there are about 400 to 600 deaths a year which are associated with the flu indirectly.

“For example, these are people who may have died because of the heart disease, linked to the flu.”

More than 170,000 cases of Aussie flu were been reported in Australia this season, while incidents in Ireland have continued to increase according to recent figures from the HSE-Health Protection Surveillance Centre. 

Their latest report reads: “Most indicators of influenza activity in Ireland have continued to increase during week 50 2017 (week ending 17th December 2017).

“Influenza-like illness rates are above baseline levels and influenza positivity has increased.

“Influenza A(H3N2) and B are currently co-circulating in the community. It is now recommended that antivirals be considered for the treatment and prophylaxis of influenza in at-risk groups.”

Health Minister Simon Harris said: “The advice from doctors is that most people who get the flu, unless they are in at risk group, can get better themselves at home.

“The HSE is advising that anyone who gets flu should stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and use over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol to ease symptoms.

“Anyone in one of the high-risk groups should contact their GP if they develop influenza symptoms.”

Also called H3N2, this vicious strain of the common winter bug presents similar symptoms but more severe, including headaches, fever, and a sore throat. Sufferers also complain of joint pain and fatigue.

It can be particularly dangerous for ‘at-risk’ groups and can lead to additional complications like pneumonia.

The vaccine in Australia hasn’t been as affective as health specialists had hoped, since H3N2 is a mutated strain.

Flu symptoms, according to the NHS, come on very quickly and can include:

  • a sudden fever – a temperature of 38C or above
  • aching body
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • dry, chesty cough
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea or tummy pain
  • nausea and being sick

The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.

You can find out more information about Aussie flu here.

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