The HSE has warned that the flu outbreak which has claimed the lives of 22 people is expected to continue for another five weeks.

The current flu season, arrived three to four weeks earlier than normal this year, and 17 of the 22 people who died were aged 65 or older.

As of yesterday, 45 patients presenting with influenza A have been admitted to intensive care units in hospitals.

Speaking at a HSE winter health briefing yesterday, Dr Vida Hamilton said the flu season was expected to last another five weeks, adding that it was "not too late" get the seasonal flu vaccine.

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