HSE says current prevalence of two strains of flu is unusual
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about 4 hours ago Updated: about 3 hours ago

The HSE has said the current prevalence of both A and B flu viruses is ?unusual?, and that this had only happened three times in the last 20 years.

Dr Kevin Kelleher, the HSE?s assistant national director for health protection, said ?normally our seasons are predominated by the A virus, and the B virus comes along at the tail of the flu season, so this is unusual?...

...Dr Kelleher confirmed the HSE purchased stocks of the trivalent flu jab following a recommendation by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which contains protection against three strains (two A strains and one B strain) of flu virus.

?The prediction made by the WHO for the vaccine didn?t include this strain. It included a not dissimilar strain but not this exact strain of B. That decision is all made a year or so in advance, and we order the vaccines and the vaccines go into production.?

Dr Kelleher said samples from GPs in the community showed the B virus was accounting for 60 per cent of flu cases, while in hospitals and intensive care units it was accounting for 50 per cent of cases...