Huge surge in respiratory illness last week in Ireland with 985 cases

DUBLIN, Ireland: The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has reported an alarming increase respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases, with a staggering 985 cases recorded last week.

Of these, 368 individuals required hospitalization, underscoring the severity of the situation.

RSV, a common respiratory illness that predominantly affects infants and young children, had already reached record levels before this surge. The HPSC has documented 3,644 cases during the current winter season, indicating a significant burden on healthcare resources.

In the past week, there were three reported outbreaks of RSV in private households, bringing the total number of winter outbreaks to seven. This escalating trend raises concerns about the virus’s rapid spread within communities.

In addition to RSV, other respiratory ailments have also taken a toll. Influenza accounted for 172 cases, leading to 56 hospitalizations. Moreover, Covid-19 remains a significant health concern, with 444 cases reported last week, resulting in 192 hospital admissions.

Meanwhile, norovirus, commonly known as the ‘vomiting bug,’ has been surging in Ireland.

HPSC data from November revealed that norovirus notifications in Ireland had tripled to over 30 per week. Healthcare facilities have also experienced a notable uptick in norovirus outbreaks.

The prevailing strain of norovirus in circulation is GII.4 (Sydney) or closely related variants, which have dominated since 2012.

Healthcare and caregiving professionals are urged to exercise vigilance when dealing with norovirus, considering all instances of vomiting as potentially infectious. Rapid cleaning and decontamination of affected areas are vital, along with strict adherence to hygiene and disinfection protocols during outbreaks. The seclusion of ill patients is recommended to prevent further transmission, and ill staff members should be excluded from work to contain the spread of the virus.

Source: International Media

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