27 Jun 2022

GPs worried infections in children could mask Covid

GPs worried infections in children could mask Covid

Children could have up to eight respiratory tract infections over the course of the winter.

Doctors have reported a marked increase in the number of children with upper respiratory tract infections, and say they are worried this is masking the true number of Covid-19 cases.

GPs in Waterford and Roscommon/Galway, said children could have up to eight respiratory tract infections over the course of the winter.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Dr. Martin Daly has said he and his colleagues have noticed an increase of "Covid fatigue" among parents who are becoming more hesitant to have their children tested because of the logistical difficulties that arise if a test is positive.

Dr. Daly added it is a very difficult situation, but warned that "there is a price to this" if cases are not identified, and urged parents to act if their children have symptoms.

He said there is a number of viruses circulating and lot of them interchange and mimic each other.

He said "we are going to have a difficult winter" and the health service could become overwhelmed, which will have a knock-on effect on other non-Covid services.

Waterford GP Dr. Austin Byrne said parents who are being repeatedly asked to isolate children are in a very difficult situation and it becomes successively more difficult for parents to go for a PCR test and exclude their child from school or creche.

"We have a real mismatch between the social need for solidarity, and the ... pressure comes upon parents and families to meet the needs of society. So it really is a difficult place that they're in at the minute."

The Chief Medical Officer has said Covid-19 infection in Ireland is growing at a rate that is concerning the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

Dr. Tony Holohan has urged people to continue with the basic health measures such as handwashing, using masks, staying away from crowds, and using ventilation.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn said the trajectory for Covid-19 infection in Ireland in the coming days and weeks is not good and there have been increases in numbers of people positive with the virus across all counties, but with Kerry, Waterford, Carlow and Longford particularly high.

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