Influenza cases continue to rise, according to the latest figures from the Health Service Executive.

Dr Kevin Kelleher, HSE Assistant National Director, Health Protection, said that Ireland had now entered the flu season.

It is expected to peak in about 8-12 weeks.

Influenza activity is sporadic and localised but not widespread in all areas yet.

So far this season, 151 patients have been admitted to hospital with influenza. Most of these cases involved children and people over 65 years.

There have been six deaths this season likely directly linked to flu.

The HSE said that in an average year, around 60-120 deaths are directly linked to flu and 300-450 are indirectly linked to it.

Experts said this year’s flu vaccination is a good match to the strains in circulation and it is not too late to get vaccinated.

Currently most cases involve influenza A, last year it was influenza B that was heavily dominant.