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Unwelcome return First known death from flu in Ireland since start of the pandemic reported

No cases of flu or deaths were reported last winter

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The first known person to have died from flu here since the start of the pandemic has been reported.

No cases of flu or deaths were reported last winter as Covid-19 measures and lockdowns gave the virus little chance to circulate.

However, flu has returned this winter and one death was reported in the week to November 14.

A further case of flu was also diagnosed involving the A(H3) strain which can particularly impact older people.

There were no patients with flu admitted to hospital or critical care so far this winter.

However, overall flu is at very low levels here and in Europe there have been sporadic cases.

However, cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) continue to be higher here mostly in young children.

It has led to particular pressures on the three Dublin children's hospitals.

In October there was a warning that the upcoming influenza season in Europe could be severe for the elderly and those with weak immunity.

The European Centre for Disease Control said the A(H3) strain could put a greater burden on health systems already strained by Covid-19.

Travel is one of the ways flu cases can rise and increased journeys by people from abroad to Ireland and trips out of the country in December could lead to a significant increase in the virus.

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