We need to be prepared, alert and flexible.'There is no point in trying to close the borders.
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Director of the HSE's Health Protection Surveillance Centre Dr Kevin Kelleher told RTE the executive has been informed of a 'small number of deaths directly related to influenza (less than ten)' in the last two weeks.
'This is to be expected as the season progresses and at this point the numbers are in-keeping with previous years.'The circulating flu strains match those in the current flu vaccine, so the vaccine remains the best defence against the virus.'The PHE figures follow repeated predictions by researchers that the flu vaccine may only be 20 per cent effective this winter - just like last year.
The dreaded Aussie flu outbreak that the NHS is preparing for will be the worst in 50 years, experts warned in September.
The deadly 'Aussie flu' currently sweeping Britain has already claimed lives in Ireland, it has emerged.
Doctors in the UK have warned that it could be the worst outbreak of the bug in 50 years, as official figures revealed cases more than doubled in just one week.