Covid and viral outbreaks in 10 Mid West care facilities

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WITH huge numbers flocking to the emergency department in University Hospital Limerick and levels of respiratory infection still trending high, the HSE is appealing to people in Limerick, Clare, and North Tipperary to avail of flu and Covid-19 vaccines.

There are currently outbreaks of Covid-19 and other infectious viruses in 10 long-term care facilities across the Mid West, a spokesman for the HSE has confirmed.

The spokesman said that a new strain of Covid-19 is prevalent in the community now and is much more infectious than previous strains.

Other viruses which can cause serious respiratory infections, particularly in vulnerable groups, are also still very prevalent, health advisors say, and vaccines can prevent or alleviate the seriousness of symptoms in both.

“While the rate of increase appears to be slowing, levels of respiratory infections remain high in the region with a number of new outbreaks in healthcare settings and long-term care facilities. Public health is currently managing 10 outbreaks of flu, Covid-19, and RSV in long-term care facilities across the Mid West,” the HSE spokesman said.

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“The most vulnerable in our community, including the elderly and those with weak immune systems, remain at risk of serious illness from these respiratory infections.

“We are reminding the public that it’s not too late to get their winter vaccines and are urging every eligible person to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and flu. You can get your vaccines at at your participating GP or pharmacy. It is not too late to get vaccinated”.

Dr Breda Cosgrove, consultant in public health medicine at Public Health HSE Mid West, said: “Flu and Covid-19 can cause serious illness for many people. That’s why we’re urging anyone who is eligible to get their flu and Covid-19 vaccines. This includes older people, healthcare workers, those with long-term health conditions, and pregnant women. If you haven’t already had your vaccines, it’s not too late.”