Public Health Area F which covers the North West is asking the people of Donegal avoid attending social settings as flu and Covid cases rise.
The West and North West regions are seeing a significant rise in respiratory infections which is having a severe impact on our health service, which is experiencing one of the busiest ever periods.
Public Health Area F has been notified of 390 COVID-19 cases and 348 flu cases* in week 52 (week ending December 31).
Covid-19 and Flu are widely circulating in the community, which means outbreaks are more likely to occur in busy settings, including hospitals and long-term care facilities.
People are being urged to keep up-to-date with their vaccines as the flu is expected to continue circulating for the next 4-6 weeks.
The flu vaccine is available from your GP or pharmacies.
There is also a free nasal spray flu vaccine for children aged 2-17, administered in each nostril.
Those eligible for their Covid-19 booster vaccine can book an appointment online at HSE vaccination clinics or visit participating pharmacies and GPs.
Dr Áine McNamara, Area Director of Public Health Area F, said, “As expected, Healthcare settings are extremely busy due to the unprecedented combination of very high levels of flu, Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses in the community. To protect yourself and others avail of COVID-19 and flu vaccines if you’re eligible, and stay at home if unwell. It is very important to avoid visiting healthcare and long-term residential settings if unwell.”
Take these extra actions to avoid respiratory infection:
– Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes
– Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow
– Get your flu and Covid-19 vaccine if eligible
– Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – especially after using the bathroom, blowing your nose, and before eating
– Wear a face mask in crowded areas
– Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces regularly
– Consider meeting outdoors in the fresh air as there is greater risk of infection in enclosed places
What to do if you have symptoms:
– Stay at home when you are sick
– Stay away from those who are vulnerable
– Contact your GP if you need advice on how to manage your symptoms
For more information you can call HSELive on 1800 700 700 or visit www.hse.ie