Flu cases low but vomiting bug on the rise
Cases of flu remain at low levels while the numbers affected by the winter vomiting bug continues to rise.
Ten cases of flu were detected last week as the number affected remains low.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) said that all the cases were Influenza A, which has been the dominant flu virus this season.
It said that there was one confirmed hospitalised case as a result of flu last week. However, no cases were admitted to critical care.
Its figures showed that influenza-like illness remained at low levels during the third week of 2012.
A number of surveillance systems are in place to monitor flu activity in Ireland, including data from the National Virus Reference Laboratory, and data provided by GPs.
The data shows that the proportion of influenza-related calls to GP out-of-hours services remained at low levels, and decreased last week, compared to the previous week's figures.
However, cases of the winter vomiting bug that have affected a number of Dublin hospitals have increased this year, according to the latest figures.
There were 119 cases in the first two weeks of the year -- this represents a doubling of cases over the same period last year with 63 additional cases.
Earlier this week, Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown became the latest hospital to put in place visiting restrictions because of the bug. A spokesperson for the hospital told the Herald that the restrictions still remain in place.
By yesterday, 35 patients in Connolly had symptoms of norovirus or the winter vomiting bug, and 10 of those patients are positive to date for norovirus, she said.
The HSE said that visiting restrictions were in place at the hospital due to the outbreak of the winter vomiting bugs which had affected a number of wards.
It said that visiting is restricted in all areas of the hospital and is permitted only at the discretion of the ward manager.
It said: "Visitors who have had vomiting or diarrhoea should not visit the hospital for 48 hours after symptoms have ceased and they are feeling well."