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Ireland: Severe toll on elderly as flu death tally hits 75

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  • Ireland: Severe toll on elderly as flu death tally hits 75

    Severe toll on elderly as flu death tally hits 75
    Eilish O'Regan

    February 24 2017 2:30 AM

    Flu has claimed the lives of 75 people so far this season and has taken a severe toll on the elderly.
    Although overall flu levels have now fallen, the strain of virus circulating in recent months has hit the over-65s hard, peaking in December and January.
    Overcrowded hospitals were under particular strain and 39 flu patients had to be admitted to critical-care beds.

    Week 7 2017 (13th - 19th February 2017)

    Overall, most indicators of influenza activity in Ireland were at low levels during week 7 2017 (up to the
    week ending February 19, 2017). Sentinel GP influenza-like illness consultation rates remained below
    baseline levels. Influenza A(H3N2) continues to predominate this season, with those aged 65 years and
    older most affected from severe influenza. Influenza hospitalisations and outbreaks in residential care
    facilities continue to be reported at low levels. Excess deaths from all causes in those aged 65 years and
    older were reported this season, most likely associated with the circulation of influenza A(H3N2). Antivirals
    should be considered for the treatment and prevention of influenza in high risk groups.

     Influenza-like illness (ILI): The sentinel GP influenza-like illness (ILI) consultation rate was 9.5 per 100,000
    population in week 7 2017, a decrease compared to the updated rate of 15.6 per 100,000 reported during
    week 6 2017. o ILI rates remained below the Irish baseline ILI threshold (18.3/100,000). o ILI age specific rates were low in all age groups during week 7 2017.

     GP Out of Hours: The proportion of influenza–related calls to GP Out-of-Hours services decreased slightly
    to 2.2% during week 7 2017, compared to 2.4% in week 6 2017.

     National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL):
    o Influenza positivity increased slightly during week 7 2017, with 51 (14.8%) influenza positive specimens
    reported by the NVRL from sentinel GP and non-sentinel sources: 48 A(H3N2), 1 A(H1)pdm09 and 2 B.
    o Influenza A(H3N2) is the predominant circulating influenza virus this season to date.
    o Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus (hMPV), adenovirus and parainfluenza virus
    positive detections continue to be reported. Coinfections of all seasonal respiratory viruses have been
    reported throughout the 2016/17 season.

     Respiratory admissions: Respiratory admissions data reported from a network of sentinel hospitals for
    week 7 2017 were at low levels for this time of year.

     Hospitalisations: 32 confirmed influenza hospitalised cases were notified to HPSC during week 7 2017, bringing the season total to 1229. The majority of hospitalised cases this season to date were in those
    aged 65 years and older.

     Critical care admissions: One confirmed influenza A(H3) case was admitted to a critical care unit and
    reported to HPSC during week 7 2017. For the season to date, 39 confirmed influenza cases have been
    admitted to critical care units and reported to HPSC.

     Mortality: 75 influenza cases died and were notified to HPSC this season to date.

     Outbreaks: Two influenza outbreaks in residential care facilities were reported to HPSC during week 7
    2017, bringing the total number of acute respiratory infection/influenza outbreaks for the season to 101.

     International: In the European region, influenza activity was elevated and widespread and has already
    peaked and is decreasing in many countries. Influenza A(H3N2) is the predominant virus circulating this
    season, with those aged 65 years and older most severely affected. Excess all-cause mortality has been
    reported among the elderly in Europe this season, most likely due to the circulation of influenza A(H3N2)
    and may also be associated with severe weather conditions in some countries.,16183,en.pdf
    Twitter: @RonanKelly13
    The views expressed are mine alone and do not represent the views of my employer or any other person or organization.