A single individual has been found to have the source of a Covid-19 outbreak that resulted in a total of 56 people becoming infected.
It has emerged that the index case was abroad on his holidays but he did not restrict his movements as per the current HSE guidelines when he got home.
He had mild symptoms including a runny nose and a mild sore throat. He checked his temperature and it was normal. He felt reassured by this and socialised with a group of friends.
He later tested positive for COVID-19. However, by this stage, he had already infected a number of his friends. Three of these friends went on to infect their families.
Another friend who he infected felt unwell and contacted her GP to arrange a COVID-19 test.
She had the test in the morning but by afternoon she felt a bit better and decided to go to a friend’s party. After the party, she got her test result and it was positive. By attending the party while waiting for her test result, she ended up infecting a number of other people.
The index case has a close extended family who visit each other’s houses regularly. This led to some extended family members also getting infected with COVID-19.
One of his extended family members who had no symptoms played a match with his local team and a number of his teammates were infected as a result. The team members then went on to infect a number of people.
In total, 56 cases were infected from the index case, affecting up to 10 private households and a sports team.
The information is contained in a report published by HSE Public Health in the Mid-West detailing the Public Health response to COVID-19 across Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary up to September 2020.
With now over 3,000 positive test results in the region, the report highlights the significant impact of the disease, the role of public health in managing and preventing COVID-19 and the continuing efforts to suppress the virus during this unprecedented pandemic.
The report includes a summary of COVID-19 cases in the region. This includes extensive data on the characteristics of confirmed cases and findings on the transmission of the disease, hospitalisation and deaths associated with COVID-19 since the first case was notified in the Mid West in March 2020.
The report highlights the importance of working together with our national and regional partners to tackle COVID-19. It also reiterates the importance of continuing to adhere to public health advice as we prepare for winter 2020.
Key messages for winter 2020 include:
Everyone in the Mid-West has a part to play in keeping COVID-19 numbers down to reduce illness from this disease. Key measures include:
– Stay at home if you feel unwell
– Avoid crowded places
– Maintain your social distance (2 metres)
– Wear a face covering in shops and other indoor settings and on public transport
– Wash your hands
– Practice good respiratory hygiene
– Reduce your number of social contacts
Dr Mai Mannix, Director of Public Health in the Mid-West said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for all including Public Health in the Mid-West region. We continue to experience high volumes of positive cases and my department continues to work tirelessly along with all our colleagues across the health service to suppress the virus.
It is vital as we approach the winter months that the public play their part and continue to adhere to public health guidelines to protect themselves, their families, friends, neighbours and everyone in the Mid-West region.”