A CORK Cystic Fibrosis sufferer who avoided her cousin's wedding party last night is urging people to ensure they take hygiene precautions to protect vulnerable people against Covid 19.
Pamela O'Connor, from Hollyhill, is taking measures to ensure she does not leave herself open to contracting the coronavirus.
As CF sufferers, she and her brother are among the vulnerable groups at risk of developing serious complications if they contract the infection.
Speaking yesterday evening, she said: "I was due to attend a clinic at CUH on Monday but that has been cancelled. I am taking steps to avoid crowds and am not going to my cousin's wedding tonight."
Her fear is that people who are not in the at risk groups – those with respiratory and other serious health conditions, the elderly, and the immuno-suppressed – will not realise the crucial importance of hygiene and other containment measures to prevent the spread of the infection.
Senior addiction therapist at Cuan Mhuire treatment services, Mike Guerin, said that drug addicts are at risk of becoming infected quicker than other sectors of the community because of poor self care and poor nutrition.
He said: "There is a huge vulnerability among drug users as their immunity is compromised. We would be very concerned in that respect."
Meanwhile, the Irish Cancer Society is advising cancer patients that undergoing active treatment can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system.
In a statement, the society is advising: "People who have weakened immune systems are at greater risk of getting infections such as the common cold and flu as well as COVID-19, also known as coronavirus.
"There are a number of steps that can be taken to reduce the chances of getting an infection, both from COVID-19 and from other airborne infections such as colds and flu which can also be much more serious for those affected by cancer treatment."
The society is also urging people around the cancer patients to take measures to ensure proper hygiene.