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Record 731 cases of RSV respiratory virus in children and nursing homes

The virus is usually mild but can cause bronchiolitis in young children

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Cases of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) reached a record of 731 last week, and there were 192 laboratory-confirmed cases of winter flu, with 64 patients in hospital with the virus. Photo: Stock image

Cases of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) reached a record of 731 last week, and there were 192 laboratory-confirmed cases of winter flu, with 64 patients in hospital with the virus. Photo: Stock image

Cases of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) reached a record of 731 last week, and there were 192 laboratory-confirmed cases of winter flu, with 64 patients in hospital with the virus. Photo: Stock image

Cases of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) reached another record of 731 last week, mainly impacting young children but also leading to outbreaks among the over 65s in nursing homes.

The virus, which is usually mild but can cause bronchiolitis in young children, leaving them feeling very unwell, led to 290 hospitalisations last week.

The virus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and it can survive on a surface for up to 24 hours.

It comes as winter flu is also on the rise with 192 laboratory-confirmed cases and 64 patients in hospital with the virus, including two in intensive care.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 related death rates are highest in Mayo, Louth, Cavan and Monaghan, according to the latest figures.

All counties had a mortality rate of more than 200 per 100,000, with Mayo reaching 249.8 per 100,000 population.

They are followed by Carlow, Dublin, Donegal, Kildare, Roscommon, Wexford, Waterford, Wicklow and Westmeath.

The number of Covid-19-related deaths reported last month rose to 103, up from 61 in September, although some of these fatalities happened earlier and there can be a time-lag to notification.

Covid-19 is rarely the single cause of death and a previous survey found the majority were certified as having the virus as well as at least one other medical condition.

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These could be pre-existing conditions or complications of Covid-19. At the end of last week, there were 8,169 notified deaths so far in the pandemic.

At the end of last week, there were 8,169 notified deaths so far in the pandemic

It come as Covid-19 remains stable here despite fears the colder weather would lead to more spread and hospitalisations.

There were 303 patients with Covid-19 in hospital yesterday, compared to 328 two weeks ago. Of these, eight were in intensive care, down from seventeen earlier in the month. The positivity rate among people having PCR tests was 11.8pc.

The latest report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre on Covid-19 for last week showed a 20.9pc fall in confirmed PCR cases and a 13.4pc decrease in positive home antigen tests.

Covid-19 vaccination uptake to last Sunday shows just 30.8pc of the over-65s have so far availed of a third booster shot, with over 73pc having got their second booster.

Half of the over-50s have had their second booster with 15.1pc having received their third booster among those who are eligible.

The number of Covid-19 outbreaks fell to 34 last week, nine less than the previous week. The highest number of fifteen was reported in nursing homes, with five in community hospital and long-stay facilities. There were seven outbreaks in acute hospitals. 

Chief Medical Officer Breda Smyth yesterday marked 50 years of Ireland’s EU membership and highlighted the importance of strengthened European collaboration in improving Ireland’s preparedness to face future cross-border health threats.

OpenSky, a Kildare-based digital technology company, has analysed electronic vaccine registers across 31 European countries to understand the links between these registers and overall vaccination rates.

They found a clear link between the level and sophistication of electronic vaccination registers and overall vaccine rates. Ireland ranked 7th out of 31 countries.


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