Concerns raised over children getting sicker from Delta variant, say GPs

Concerns Raised Over Children Getting Sicker From Delta Variant, Say Gps
Dr Tom Black, who is based in Derry "We are seeing a lot of sick children and younger people, not older people,”
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Vivienne Clarke

Two doctors based in the north-west on both sides of the border have told of the growing number of cases that appear to be of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Dr Tom Black, who is based in Derry, told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that the number of cases in the Strabane and Derry area is three times higher than the rest of Northern Ireland.

“We are seeing a lot of sick children and younger people, not older people," he said.

“Half the cases in Northern Ireland are the Delta variant, we expect that to rise to 75 per cent in the next couple of weeks.”

As the Irish Examiner reports, Dr Black said the vaccination programme was holding up well and that there were very few cases in the over-60s and very few hospitalisations.


However, he acknowledged that as GPs they were not certain that the cases they were seeing were of the Delta variant, but they were seeing more symptoms that were consistent with the Delta variant.

Meanwhile, Dr Denis McCauley who is based in Donegal said they are also seeing an “upswing” in upper respiratory infections among children, but that because of ongoing problems caused by the malware attack on the HSE they did not have full details.

People were going directly to testing centres rather than their GP which meant GPs did not know all the details.

Difficult decisions

What happened in Derry was usually replicated in Donegal, he said and as the number of cases went up in Northern Ireland more cases were going to be seen in Donegal too.

Dr Black said that pop up clinics had been established around Derry to address “the gaps” among those aged 40 to 60 who had not been vaccinated. People under 40 who contracted the virus did not become very ill, he said.

Meanwhile, the Covid adviser for the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) Dr Mary Favier has cautioned that if the number of cases of the Delta variant continues to rise then difficult decisions will have to be made by the Government next week.

The Nphet member told the same show that there was a concern about the “uptick” in the numbers of cases involving the variant.

Dr Favier reiterated that GPs were finding it difficult to determine exact numbers as people were now going directly to pop-up test centres and doctors could not access data because of the malware attack on the HSE system.

Previously when patients accessed testing through GPs they would be given advice on isolation and contacts.

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