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People warned to be 'exceptionally careful' in interactions amid increase in Covid-19 cases among older people

The majority of coronavirus cases in August were among young people, but there has been an increase in cases among older people recently.

Professor Philip Nolan speaking at the Covid-19 briefing in the Department of Health yesterday evening.
Professor Philip Nolan speaking at the Covid-19 briefing in the Department of Health yesterday evening.
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ieSam Boal

PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS have expressed concern at a recent increase in the number of Covid-19 cases among older people.

The majority of coronavirus cases in August were among young people, with a median age of around 30 years, but there has been an increase in cases among older people in the last week.

Speaking at a Covid-19 briefing last night, Professor Philip Nolan, chair of of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group, said 70 cases of the virus among over-75s were reported in the past fortnight, compared to “almost none” at the start of August.

“In the early stages of this pandemic the disease occurred across all age groups. And then it was particularly severe in the elderly.

“In recent weeks, you’ll be aware that it has been a young person’s disease, that the median the age of cases has been around 30 years of age. That has been true until very recently.”

Nolan said in the last week or so there has been an increase in the number of cases among the older and more vulnerable groups.

“It’s a note of caution to all of us to be exceptionally careful in our interactions across age groups,” he stated.

The chance of a person with the virus requiring hospitalisation rises from one in 100 among people under the age of 45 to one in five among those aged 75 years and older, Nolan added.

Dublin

There has also been an increase in cases in Dublin recently – the capital has accounted for 45% of all new cases in the past fortnight. This rise has been attributed to many family clusters.

Of the 89 new cases of the virus reported yesterday, 53 were in Dublin.

Dublin’s 14-day incidence is 53 per 100,000 of the population, compared to 33 per 100,000 for the country as a whole.

Nolan said the number of cases across the country “may be stable, but it’s higher than we would like”. “It re-emphasises that people need to be cautious in their social interactions right across the country,” he stated.

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Órla Ryan

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