THE median age of Covid-19 cases being reported in Cork is almost 20 years lower than the national figure.
A new report from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) shows that 2,603 cases of Covid-19 were reported in the week from November 15th to November 21st (week 47).
Those diagnosed with confirmed Covid-19 range from zero all the way to age 98, and the median age of cases, or the midpoint of ages, was 36 years.
A breakdown of the data by county shows 266 of these cases were reported in Cork accounting for just over 10 percent of all the cases reported nationally that week.
The median age of cases in Cork was 19, the lowest reported median age reported nationally, down from 35 in the county the previous week.
The new report comes as the latest figures show that more than 6,280 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Cork since the beginning of the pandemic.
Commenting on the latest figures, Cork GP, Dr John Sheehan said it wasn’t surprising to see a reduction in the median age of cases being reported in Cork.
“I think younger people by their nature - they are going out, they are going to school, they are working, it’s not surprising to see the median age go down, because older people have really been either cocooning or really restricting their movements,” he said.
The Cork GP said he had observed a “significant” general decline in people needing a referral for Covid-19 testing in recent weeks in comparison to what was being seen three or four weeks previous.
“The measures seem to have been bought in to. Although they were hard for people, they certainly have made a big, big difference,” he added.
Dr Sheehan said he was concerned that with recent good news about Covid-19 vaccines, and a drop in the number of cases being reported, that there is a risk of complacency.
“There’s a huge pent-up energy, a huge pent-up demand for people to do a bit of shopping, get ready for Christmas, have a bit of normality back, a sense of relief,” he said adding that his concern is that with the easing of restrictions he was concerned “we don't all rush out” at the same time.
“Bear in mind it’s very easy for the virus to take off again.
“I think it's important to remember that at the moment we’re one of the best in Europe [for Covid-19 incidence] and that was done by a lot of hard sacrifices by many, many people and we don't want to lose that advantage.
"If we keep the numbers low until the vaccine comes, that will be a huge game-changer for all of us.
“Be sensible, don’t everyone rush to Penneys on the first day [after lockdown ends]. We will support our local businesses but do it in a measured manner."
Westmeath reported the second-lowest median age of cases at 25 and Leitrim reported the third-lowest median age of cases at 27.
Wicklow reported the highest median age of cases at 54 years.
The report also gives an insight into the weekly incidence rate of Covid-19 cases nationally and by county.
It shows that last week the national weekly incidence rate of confirmed cases per 100,000 population was 54.7.
The figure was highest in Louth at 110.2 and lowest in Wexford at 18.
Cork had the 12th highest incidence rate at 49, an increase on the previous week but a figure which remains significantly lower than in weeks 42, 43 and 44 when the rate was higher than 136 per 100,000 people.