Taking steps to prevent the spread of the flu

Leitrim Observer reporter

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Taking steps to prevent the spread of the flu

Help prevent the spread of the flu.

The Minister for Health Simon Harris is encouraging everyone to follow the HSE’s advice and take steps to prevent the spread of the flu over the coming days and weeks.

The Minster was speaking after the latest figures from the HSE-Health Protection Surveillance Centre showed that influenza is now circulating in the community, but at a low level.



Minister Harris said “I would appeal to everyone to follow the HSE’s advice over the coming days and weeks on how to recognise the symptoms of flu, what to do if flu is suspected and on how to prevent it spreading between people. I’d also like to remind people that it is not too late to get the flu vaccine.”

“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. If you need to visit your GP or the Emergency Department, please phone first to explain that you might have flu. I would encourage everyone to log onto to www.undertheweather.ie for advice, tips, information and videos on getting over flu and other common illnesses.”

“I would like to thank the HSE for the work done on this issue so far this winter. I am being kept up to date regularly in relation to the flu and the situation continues to be closely monitored.

“I’m pleased that there has been a significant focus on increasing immunisation rates among health care workers and vulnerable at risk groups and considerable progress has been made. The uptake by Health Care Workers in acute hospitals to the end of October was 34.5%, which is higher than the total uptake last winter. So far over 900,000 vaccines have been distributed, an increase of 109,000 on last year and the uptake rate in over-65s to date is 61.9% - an increase of 3% on the same period last year”.
 


The Minister also encouraged everyone to read the information in the ‘Be Winter Ready – Advice for Older People” leaflet “This gives clear and simple advice on what to do if you develop a respiratory illness and how you can help prevent its spread.”