The Chief Medical Officer has said asking grandparents and older people to look after children with respiratory illnesses is putting them at risk because of rising cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and influenza.

Professor Breda Smyth, a native of Straide, says she is concerned after a record number of RSV cases were notified to health authorities in the past week.

Almost 650 cases of RSV were reported in Ireland in the past week.

According to RTE, It is the highest ever number ever recorded in the country, with the majority of cases in small children and the elderly. Flu cases are also rising sharply.

As a result, the health services are seeing more hospitalisations, which they say is putting additional pressure on the health system.

In a video message issued by the Department of Health, Professor Smyth appealed to people to get their flu vaccine.

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