DUBLIN, Ireland - A staggering increase was recorded last week, in the number of people visiting doctors across the country with flu.
According to health officials, who met on Friday to discuss the flu epidemic, about 500 people have been admitted to hospitals, while a whopping 5,000 others went to doctors with the flu across the country.
Assistant National Director for Public Health and Child Health Dr Kevin Kelleher said in a statement that despite 4,700 people seeking medical attention for the flu from their local GP, the number of people suffering with the illness is likely to be five times that amount.
Meanwhile, Dr Kelleher said that there is a large majority of people with the flu who do not go to see their doctor and therefore the number is likely to be a lot higher.
On Thursday, officials announced that the average age of those with the flu as of last week has moved from young children to those aged between ages 15-65.
An outbreak of Aussie flu or the H3N2 has so far claimed “less than 10” lives in Ireland, the HSE revealed.
In Australia meanwhile, the strain of the disease has affected up to 170,000 people and killed 300, which authorities have said is more than two-and-a-half times last year's total.
Meanwhile, across Ireland, other problems continued to exist - with 390 patients still waiting on hospital trollies.
Ireland is also dealing with cases of swine flu and the B strain.
Experts have said that this year is set to become the worst flu epidemic since 1968.