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The Glynn brothers Fergus and Liam wait for Dr Michael Harty, Independent, at theGE2016 count in Ennistymon. Photograph by John Kelly.

Ballyvaughan doctor warns Covid-19 is highly infectious

COVID-19 is nothing like contracting a bad ‘flu, a local family doctor has warned.

Proffessor Liam Glynn has warned the virus is twice as infectious as the ‘flu, results in 20 times more people requiring hospitalisation and kills at least ten times more people.

The Professor of General Practice at the Graduate Entry Medical, University of Limerick is producing a daily breakdown of Covid-19 cases and deaths in several countries with Dr Michael O’Callaghan, a Bruff GP who is trained as a software engineer and data analyst.

This initiative is a collaboration between the University of Limerick and the Irish College of General Practitioners.

Dr Glynn said it was important to provide clear factual information about the incidence of this deadly disease from a trusted source during this crisis.

They provide daily figures of new Covid-19 cases, fatalities in different countries like South Korean, Italy, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom and Ireland, which are posted in a graph on twitter.

The Ballyvaughan-based GP said the number of new cases is very much dependent on the volume and type of testing.

According to Twitter analytics, this Covid-19 graph gets on average more 20,000 impressions and several thousand engagements on a daily basis.

“There is so much conflicting ideas and opinions on social media it is important that people are provided factual information from a trusted source.

Dr Glynn recalled initially Ireland was following the same trend as other countries, called an exponential growth pattern, which people can find difficult to conceptualise because we think in linear terms.

“This is one of the reasons why the reasons to Covid-19 has varied so much throughout the world. Governments have struggled to believe it could be really so bad in their country, despite country after country going through the same pattern.

“Ireland was following this pattern with growth rates of 30-% daily. Thankfully these growth rates have dropped below 20%. The rate of new confirmed cases has slowed but we are still getting double figures in terms of deaths in our small country daily to this infection.

“We can’t get complacent. We have to fight to save every one of these lives. Everyone is trying to stick with the restrictions that have been put in place, which require a lot of sacrifice by a lot of people.

“People have lost their jobs and have suffered great pain and sacrifice but the only way we will beat this virus is if everyone gets on board with the guidelines and plays their part.

“If we do that, we will turn this around and prevail.

Offering his sincere sympathy to any family who has lost a loved one as a result of Covid-19, he stressed the statistics are not just numbers, they are real people leaving families devastated by their loss.

 

Dan Danaher

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