Young people and pregnant women could be among the worst hit by this year’s flu season as swine flu is likely to be a dominant strain, reports the Irish Independent.

The forecast warning of swine flu, the AH1N1 virus, was made at the recent meeting of the emergency department task force.

HSE public health specialist Dr Kevin Kelleher said if the pattern is the same here this winter as the Australian flu season, it will be this strain that will dominate.

The age profile of those who fall ill will be younger and there tends to be a slight increase in pregnant women when it predominates, he added.