Covid-19 autumn surge in Ireland
By October, 2022, influenza and an Indian Covid-19 variant will dominate the health services. Australia is experiencing a surge in both illnesses. There has been a severe influenza season in the southern hemisphere which is a warning for Europe. The WHO reported a tripling of cases in Europe since mid-July, accounting for 50% of global cases. At least 200,000 in Ireland people have never been vaccinated - representing the disproportionate number being hospitalised for unvaccinated Covid-19. WHO states there is a 'fake sense of confidence' Covid-19 is gone.
BA.4 and BA.5 variants of Covid-19 infects and reinfects many of those infected before. Covid-19 is now endemic in Ireland. 50% of patients in hospital with Covid-19 did not receive their booster and 33% are not vaccinated. Being fully vaccinated is the best protection from Covid-19. All Health Service Executive officials are concerned that cases in hospitals went from a steady 200 cases to 600cases within three weeks presently 1,000 cases in Irish hospitals. Theses new variants infect the upper respiratory tract without penetrating the nose so that the disease is not as severe. BA.5 avoids the antibodies generated by previous vaccinations so re-infections are common. The T-cells, the very effective component of the human immune system protects against severe disease. Intermittent claudication in the lower limbs and photophobia are common symptoms of the BA.5 variant. A very large of volume of virus at a super spreader event ensures the patient suffers serious symptoms.
The majority of people have head cold-like symptoms, a cough, headache, aches and pains and sometimes diarrhoea. Some are infected for the first time others are infected up to three times. Elderly people have ceased wearing masks. Some people accept a simple cold, yet when asked to take an antigen test, it is positive. The virus has been disseminated throughout the community as a result. The regimen of sleep, sunlight and fresh air are good healers. Mutations of viruses do not weaken.
Masks slow the spread of the virus and lower the dose of the virus, they are useful in indoor settings where there is poor ventilation. Mask wearing in autumn and winter will return when people are indoors more. Airlines cancel return flights due to Covid-19 cases amongst staff, shops, businesses are equally affected. Airports this summer are inundated with travelers who regularly return with Covid-19. Older people and people with underlying conditions are immediately vulnerable. The summer surge of Covid-19 is well under way. Mandatory mask wearing in now inevitable.
Omicron came from South Africa. Omicron variants occur at any season. Portugal endured 6 weeks of infections before they declined. Ireland may be at week 4 of the surge. These new variants have a significant growth advantage. New daily infections may be over 10,000 people were not logging positive antigen test results. The seven day positivity rate - the number of people testing positive out of the overall number of official PCR tests carried out - has risen to 36%, an increase from 27% in June.
People infected with Covid-19 in December 2021 and January 2022 by Omicron variant BA.1 face re-infection this July despite vaccinations, which fortunately reduce the severity of infection and also the viral load. People infected in March and April 2022 when BA.2 was dominant have some protection from the current wave. There were 13,500 confirmed PCR cases week ending June 29th and over 17,600 positive antigen test results July 6 an increase of 21%. On Friday, August 26 2022, there were 15 confirmed cases in ICU and 257 in Irish hospitals according to HSE updates. Social activity along with inter-county and international travel in June ensures these super spreader events will increase cCovid-19 cases. There are c.180,000 immuno-compromised people in Ireland who resent the population's casual attitude to mask wearing. a new variant from India is on the way.