Covid-19: Rise in cases among children linked to playdates

Covid-19: Rise In Cases Among Children Linked To Playdates
Playdates have been linked to rising Covid-19 cases among children.
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James Cox

A slight increase in Covid-19 infections among children is being monitored by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet).

Professor Philip Nolan, who chairs the Epidemiological Modelling Group, said: “Right now there continue to be very few cases associated with outbreaks in schools.”

This is “almost undetectably low”, compared to situations where children are infected with the virus at home, Prof Nolan said.

Prof Nolan said 50-60 cases are being recorded in children of primary school age daily, however, he said only about 10 per cent are associated with school outbreaks.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said health officials believe the majority of cases among children are coming from activities outside of school.

“We are getting reports from colleagues that some of the issues are to do with activities outside of schools. Playdates are being organised, multiple households are meeting up in social settings.”


Dr Glynn said people may have “gotten away” with not transmitting the disease in similar situations last year, adding that the B117 variant is making this impossible.

One further death and 520 additional cases of Covid-19 were confirmed on Monday.

Of the cases notified today:

  • 258 are men/262 are women.
  • 79 per cent are under 45 years of age.
  • The median age is 28 years old.
  • 242 cases in Dublin, 36 in Meath, 30 in Offaly, 29 in Kildare, 25 in Wicklow and the remaining 158 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

Speaking at Monday's Nphet briefing, Dr Cillian de Gascun, Medical Virologist and Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said: “The B117 variant, Ireland’s most dominant variant of Covid-19 accounts for more than 90 per cent of our cases and is extremely transmissible. Public health advice aims to limit the opportunities this virus has to spread, and it should be noted that B117 does not need much opportunity to do so. The most effective way to stop the spread of this variant and all variants of Covid-19 is to limit your social contacts and follow public health advice.”


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