You're either one of two people reading this now. Person one: completely healthy and can't understand what the fuss is about or - Person two: Absolutely. Dying.
The HSE has urged all people in at-risk groups for the flu to get vaccinated if they have not done so already. Those in at-risk groups include people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people with chronic illness. Healthcare workers should also get the vaccine to protect themselves and those that they care for.
HSE’s AND for Public Health and Director of HPSC, Dr Kevin Kelleher, explains that data shows that flu levels are likely to increase over the coming weeks when flu begins to actively circulate in the community.
However, this year’s flu vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu:
“Flu is now beginning to circulate, and as schools reopen and people return to work we are likely to see increased levels.
"The predominant strain currently circulating is H1N1, which is affecting younger age groups more than strains that have circulated in previous years. This year’s vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and it is not too late to get the vaccine.
“While most people will get better themselves from flu, anyone who is concerned about their condition should telephone their GP or an out of hours medical service so they can arrange to be treated in a way that does not put others at risk.
People with symptoms should stay at home and children should not attend school if showing signs of flu.”
If you're sick, you don't want to get any worse and if you're fighting fit you'll want to try and avoid it at all costs.
The map below shows the reported levels of Influenza-like illnesses (ILI) from people around the country.
The map shows a gradient from no reported ILI (blue) to very high ILI (red) with the colour purple being something in the middle.
The data is based on small numbers but you are encouraged to log on to the site and register your illness so that they can get a more accurate reading.
The maps are automatically updated "every three minutes".
You're probably sick of hearing it at this stage but in order to get better as quickly as possible you need to:
- Rest and sleep
- Keep warm
- Take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and to treat aches and pains
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (your pee should be light yellow or clear)