Stay home! HSE issues public warning after increase in flu cases

The HSE has issued a warning to the public after an early spike in flu cases this winter. They have urged the public to stay inside and away from work or school if they’re displaying signs of the flu.

They stressed that the illness is extremely contagious and the best thing to do is to stay home until they're better.

GPs have reported an increase in flu cases last week which is a cause for concern.

Medical experts are urging people to stay out of work and to keep children away from school or creche until they’re fully recovered.

Symptoms include a sudden fever that is typically 38.3 degrees Celsius (101 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. These initial symptoms will be followed by respiratory distress like a dry cough and a runny nose.

Full recovery usually takes between five and seven days.

Typical symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness

Experts recommend those suffering from the flu to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. You can take painkillers to ease symptoms if necessary.  Antibiotics will not do much to help with the flu because the cause is viral and not bacterial.

Wash your hands for a minimum of 15 seconds and dispose of used tissues straight away to help combat the virus.

The public has also been advised to cough into the crook of your arm and to use hand sanitiser frequently.

There is still time to get the flu vaccine, so if you are in one of the at risk groups then make an appointment today. It takes up to two weeks before the vaccine becomes fully effective, so it’s advised to get the vaccine before incidence of flu reaches peak levels.