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health warning

The HSE has warned that flu season is expected to last another five weeks. There had been a major spike in flu cases just before the Christmas holidays.

It is believed that 22 people have died this flu season and a further 45 people are currently in ICU.

Experts say flu season peaked last week but this has yet to be confirmed.

They have urged the public to stay inside and away from work or school if they’re displaying signs of the flu.

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 that 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.

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.


In recent times, the 'bare ankle' has become common place in the smart-casual stylings of trend-savvy individuals.

The sockless look is rocked by both men and women alike, and with countless celebrities jumping on board, it's a fashion statement that isn't going anywhere fast.

However, an advisory from the College of Podiatry may prompt you to rethink your choice of footwear.

Experts warn that wearing shoes without socks will increase your chances of getting athlete's foot.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, podiatrist Emma Stevenson, explained the health risks associated with the popular fashion statement.

It seems that it all comes down to the amount of sweat produced by the feet (approximately half a pint per day!!), and the fact that without socks, there is nothing there to soak up all the moisture.

“On average your feet will sweat half a pint a day; that's a lot to be pouring out straight into your shoe without it being absorbed by a sock,” she said.

“Many shoes that are available on the high street today may have leather uppers but are lined in synthetic material, which is not breathable. If the lining is not breathable then moisture, heat and bacteria will all be trapped inside the shoe.”

Gross, we know.

But hey, there are steps you can take to prevent this kind of build-up from happening 

Obviously, the first option is to start wearing socks everyday, but if you reeeally can't cant bare the thought of saying bye-bye to your go-to style, Emma recommends airing your shoes for a least 48 hours before wearing them again.

You can also spray you feet with underarm antiperspirant, use tea bags to absorb the extra moisture, and wash and dry feet thoroughly after going sockless.


Bad new guys – those trendy copper mugs popping up all over your Instagram feed could actually wreack havoc on your insides.

The Moscow Mule, a cocktail made from a refreshing mix of vodka, ginger beer and lime juice, is fast becoming one of the must-try beverages of 2017.

Often served in a picture-perfect copper-coloured mug, the drink has become a favourite among millenials looking to grab the perfect Insta-worth snap.


Couldn't have #brunch without a #MoscowMuel ##sundayfunday #tampa #oxfordexchange #weekend

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However, concerns over the safety of the drinking vessel have emerged after experts at a US state department warned that copper and copper alloys can be poisonous when consumed.

It seems that when these metals come in contact with substances with a pH level lower then six, copper may leak into the liquid contained in the mug and thus be accidentally consumed by the cocktail drinker. 

"High concentrations of copper are poisonous and have caused food borne illness," the statement explains.

"When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food."


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However, all hope is not lost.

All cocktail loving Instagrammers will be happy to know that a copper-coloured mug is safe to drink from if it is lined with another metal, such as nickel or stainless steel.

Of course, it's important to check before you start to drink and if in doubt, opt for the much safer (albeit, not nearly as beautiful) classic glass tumbler instead.