HSE Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Colm Henry, warns people to stay home if they are unwell amid the growing number of new cases of Covid-19.
Patient numbers have increased significantly recently, with Dr. Henry said they are up “75 per cent week on week” while hospitalizations have “up 90 per cent” since early December, however a small number of patients have been admitted to intensive care.
“We appeal to people to wear masks on public transport, wherever there is a certain level of congestion and where they are accompanied by an elderly person.
“You are one step away from someone who may be much more vulnerable to severe Covid-19 or even severe flu than you are,” he told RTÉ Tomorrow Ireland.
dr Henry said the Covid-19 vaccine is “declining” as only 46 per cent of people eligible for the second booster shot have taken up the offer so far.
The public has been urged to avoid emergency rooms and hospital doctor’s offices whenever possible.
Yesterday, the number of patients waiting for a bed on hospital trolleys topped 760, a worrying record last set in January 2020 before the outbreak of the pandemic.
dr Henry said a combination of winter flu, Covid and RSV, as well as chronic illnesses and urgent medical needs of many older patients, were behind the surge.
He said many of the viruses currently circulating are “self-limiting” and that with the pressure on healthcare being “continuous” citizens should only go to emergency rooms and GP surgeries when absolutely necessary.
“That is why we are appealing to people, because the vast majority of these circulating viruses are self-limiting diseases.
“You can stay home, you can self-manage, there’s information on undertheweather.ie,” he said.
“People will be aware of the kind of symptoms that aren’t serious enough to go to a general practice or hospital. This is low fever, cough, sore throat. For children, if they eat well, if they are in good shape, you don’t need to see a doctor.
“If they get worse. When they are sleepy, when they cannot eat or drink, [that’s a] other things. Get medical help.”
Meanwhile, confirmed Dr. Henry that a fourth child has died of Strep A in Ireland.
He said each “tragic case” was “extraordinarily rare” and the health service had an ample supply of antibiotics to treat patients.
“For the vast majority of children with sore throats who have a fever, they can be safely treated at home with conservative measures,” he added.
“We have enough antibiotics for strep disease, or for any other common bacterial illness… The vast majority of these sore throats aren’t caused by bacteria, they’re caused by viruses… We have enough to deal with people who are taking antibiotics based.” solids need clinical indications that GPs will be very familiar with out there in the community.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/hse-chief-urges-people-to-stay-home-if-they-feel-unwell-as-covid-cases-surge-42235227.html Covid cases Ireland: HSE chief urges people to stay home if feeling unwell as Covid cases rise