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The deadly virus triggered nearly three times the number of cases in Australia, which earned it the nickname "Aussie flu".

Government statistics showed 1,111 people were struck down with the disease as temperatures plummeted last week - a 156 per cent jump on the previous seven days.

It comes just a day after Daily Star Online reported the flu has already crippled thousands in the United Kingdom, and has claimed several lives in Conor's home country Ireland. During Australia's flu season, which ended in September, hospital admissions for influenza were twice the normal rate and three times the usual number of deaths were reported.

Dr Kevin Kelleher, from the Health Protection department, said: "There have been a few deaths already, under 10 people have died so far this year". However, the HSE has now confirmed that they have been notified of a a small number of deaths - less than 10 - directly related to flu.

A further 73 have been hospitalised - causing medics to urge people to get vaccinated as the flue "actively circulates" in Ireland.

Those who are most likely to get the virus are pregnant women, elderly people or anyone with serious health conditions.

IMO member Dr Ray Wally says it is not too late to get vaccinated.

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He wrote: "Well that was a wild New Year's Eve". Half the family hit with the Australian flu virus and some even left in hospital with it, ' he captioned a since-deleted Instagram post.

Writing about his recent press coverage, he said: "I may go back to the back pages instead of the front pages again but I have a feeling these journalists now just want me in the obituary pages so we shall see".

Despite the scary news, 29-year-old brawler Conor - who turned to boxing in 2017 to take on Floyd Mayweather in a Las Vegas bout - had some positive words in his Instagram post. I'll leave that with the rest of the bad behind me in 2017 and take with me the many great experiences I've had this year!'

Last week 522 cases of type A and 546 cases of type B were recorded in England and Wales.

Some experts in Australia blamed this as a reason why they suffered such a severe flu outbreak.

UFC star Conor McGregor was said to have been bedridden after being hit by a bout of the Australian flu.