The number of new cases of human swine flu in Ireland is increasing, with around 1,800 reported in the week to last Sunday.

According to new figures from the Department of Health, 12 more patients have been hospitalised; a total of 62 people have received hospital treatment to date.

Department officials said this evening that 19 people remain in hospital, including four in intensive care.

Two people have died from the virus in the Republic.

The HSE says that it expects to have a licensed vaccine around the end of September and that it will be given to the whole population.

Dr Pat Doorley of the HSE said that the first people to be vaccinated will be health staff, those in at-risk groups and children.

Meanwhile, the latest figures from the World Health Organisation show that over 182,000 laboratory confirmed cases of swine flu have been reported around the world, with 1,799 fatalities.

The laboratory-confirmed cases represent an underestimation of total cases, as many countries have moved away from containment to clinical confirmation by family doctors with laboratory testing only for people with severe illness and those in the high-risk category.

The pandemic H1N1 virus is the dominant influenza virus in circulation in the world.