Schools are due to reopen this week after Christmas break.
Parents have been advised to keep their children out of school if they’re unwell.
Ahead of the school reopenings, the CMO has urged parents to keep sick children out of school, especially if they have flu-like symptoms.
CMO Professor Breda Smyth stressed that children should not attend childcare facilities or schools if they’re physically unwell.
“As schools and childcare facilities re-open after the Christmas break, I am urging parents to be vigilant for symptoms of respiratory viruses in children.
“If your child has any new-onset ‘flu-like symptoms such as congestion, cough, runny nose, or high temperature, parents should continue to be mindful of others.
“If possible, keep your children at home from school or childcare facilities.”
Parents should keep their children at home for at least 48 hours after their symptoms have completely gone.
An increase in winter viruses has put Ireland’s healthcare service under extreme pressure.
Professor Smyth added,
“The vast majority of respiratory illnesses can be treated successfully at home with over-the-counter medication. There is very good advice on the HSE website undertheweather.ie.
“However, parents should trust their instincts and seek medical attention if required.”
Earlier this week, it was reported that hospitals saw the highest number of people waiting on trolleys ever recorded in the state.
The HSE has also advised people to consider going to their GP or minor injury units ahead of emergency departments.