Covid wave 'to peak next week'

The Immunology expert said she thought we are not seeing the full extent of the Covid wave in reports.
Covid wave 'to peak next week'

Professor Loscher said we are nearly at the peak. Picture Denis Minihane.

The peak of the current Covid wave is within a week away, according to Professor of Immunology in DCU, Christine Loscher.

Professor Loscher said we are nearly at the peak.

“We’re probably maybe a week out. The positivity rate looks like it's plateauing. We look at the pattern in Portugal, it climbed for five or six weeks and we are in week four or five of our climb here.

“I think we are nearly at the peak and it will start to plateau. Hospitals and ICUs will lag behind a little bit so they are still climbing, and even if our numbers plateau, we are likely to see the numbers climb for the next few weeks.” 

The Immunology expert said she thought we are not seeing the full extent of the Covid wave in reports.

“I do think we are nearly there. Even though we are only reporting around 5000 cases between PCR and antigen test I would say it is easily two to three times that at the moment.” In relation to the next wave, Professor Loscher told 'Today with Claire Byrne' on RTÉ Radio One that October/November is likely, but it was hard to call.

“I think if we are sticking with Omicron, the subvariants have arisen every three months, so we are thinking of moving on from A4/A5, you might be thinking October or November we would potentially see the next subvariant of omicron, but really, we are at the mercy of the virus, in terms of what happens next with its behaviour, whether it's another subvariant which will be mild or a completely new variant, there is a lot of unknown in that, but I do think decision making about the vaccination practice is for the winter is a priority at the moment.” 

Dr Yvonne Williams said it was best practice at the moment to presume everyone has Covid.

“There is Covid everywhere at the moment I think the positivity rate on the testing rate is running close to 40%, and that was as low as 1% at one stage, so we are not even picking up the vast majority of cases. “So it is back to the early days, presume everyone has it. If you go into a busy shop or supermarket, there may be someone there with Covid who may or may not know they have symptoms.”

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