Young child dies of swine flu in Dublin hospital
A young child is believed to have died from the H1N1 strain of influenza at a Dublin hospital this week.
The child is thought to be from the west of Ireland and had been transferred to Our Ladys Hospital in Crumlin for treatment.
The H1N1 virus was responsible for the 2009 swine flu outbreak in Ireland.
The latest HSE flu report claimed that consultations with GPs in relation to flu like illness had increased across the country in recent days.
It said there were 124 confirmed hospitalised cases of flu in the past week, bringing to 344 the total number of hospitalised cases notified in the 2015/2016 flu season.
So far 45 patients have been admitted to intensive care units.
Nine people have been killed by the flu this winter.
Dr Darina O' Flanagan, head of the HSE's Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC), said the current flu vaccine offered protection against the virus.
This is in contrast to the winter of 2009, when swine flu reached pandemic levels because there was initially no vaccine against it.
Dr O'Flanagan said overall flu levels, including the B strain, were continuing to rise and likely to persist for four to five more weeks.
"If someone got vaccinated now it would take effect in 10 to 14 days," she said.
The World Health Organisation have also urged the use of the vaccine, having graded the H1N1 strain as a virus that can be tackled by the seasonal flu vaccine.
The HSE provides the flu vaccine free of charge for those in the at-risk groups. Symptoms of swine flu include a sudden fever, a temperature of 38C or above, tiredness, aching muscles, joint pain and headache.