Everything you need to know about the DANGEROUS virus that's sweeping Ireland

3rd Jan 18 | News

Symptoms to look out for as the vicious outbreak sweeps the nation.

A deadly virus, known as Aussie Flu, is currently attacking Ireland - with a number of deaths reported by the ''H3N2'' strain.

A record 656 people were waiting on trolleys yesterday with Liam Woods of the HSE predicting that the flu epidemic has still not reached its peak.

However, Woods stressed that despite the strain on services - hospitals will not turn people away.

He said:

"Hospitals will not turn people away, hospitals will continue to operate.

It's acknowledged there is a lot of strain, at the moment hospitals are coping under a lot of pressure, and I would acknowledge there is great work being done by clinical and other staff in hospitals.

Really, we have to follow the fluency where it goes, at the moment we are probably two to three weeks away from a peak."

The deadly virus triggered almost three times the number of cases in Australia, which earned it the nickname "Aussie flu".

Symptoms of Aussie Flu are similar to a regular flu, although much more severe. These include:

• Sore throat and cough

• Headache

• Fever

• Muscle ache

• Fatigue

• Runny nose and sneezing

• Loss of appetite

• Difficulty sleeping

Aussie flu can lead to pneumonia and other potentially fatal complications.

People generally recover from a flu within a week or so with just mild symptoms. However, if the flu is persisting, it's a good indication to seek medical help.

Dr Kelleher urged people to get the vaccination ASAP. He said:

"The HSE is continuing to encourage people to get the flu vaccine - especially those in high risk groups.

Older people, children, and people with underlying health conditions are at particular risk and it’s feared that the number of cases here could rise dramatically over the coming weeks.

I am concerned that any significant increase in cases could pose a serious threat to our already overburdened hospital system.

In the majority of cases, this flu, while serious, can be treated at home.

However there will always be more severe cases, which will need acute medical intervention."

Are you feeling under the weather? You can learn more here.