Doctors urge public to stay at home if showing Covid-19 symptoms

“It would be selfish to go out”, Dr Denis McCauley said
Doctors urge public to stay at home if showing Covid-19 symptoms

Vivienne Clarke

Representatives for the two main organisations for the medical profession have called on the public to stay at home if they are experiencing any symptoms which could be Covid-19.

Dr Denis McCauley of the Irish Medical Organisation and Dr Nuala O’Connor of the Irish College of General Practitioners both told RTÉ Radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show that the public should assume that any symptoms such as a sore throat, cough, blocked nose, were actually Covid-19 and stay at home.

“It would be selfish to go out,” Dr McCauley said.

Dr O’Connor pointed out that by the time people attend their GP with symptoms they are two to three days into their infection, but had attended social events or went to work and spread the infection.

“Even if it’s not Covid, it is an infection and people are still vulnerable,” she added.

Children

Parents should not send their children to summer camp or allow them to attend parties. “Think about others, stay at home.”

Both doctors reported a lower response from the over-70s cohort who were entitled to their second booster. There had been a 95 per cent uptake of the first dose, but only 50 per cent for the second booster.

The vaccine was a very important mitigating factor for treatment, said Dr McCauley.

Vaccination for high risk groups was really important, he said. As for other age groups - “We will have to wait to see what the experts say”.

Vaccine fatigue

There appeared to be vaccine fatigue, he cautioned. Some also had refused the booster because it was Moderna when previously they had received Pfizer. Anything that stops people from taking the second booster was an issue.

It was important to “gear up” for October and for people to get their booster before the winter.

Dr O’Connor repeated the call for people to get their second booster as the rising Covid numbers were putting pressure on hospital services and displacing other care.

The booster vaccine protected against ending up in hospital and death, she said. There were enormous benefits to getting boosted.

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