The coronavirus has reached Ireland so I’ve gathered some information from officials such as the world health organisation (WHO) and the HSE that should help minimise the risk of the virus spreading .
The coronavirus is a new disease that can affect your lungs and airways. It may take up to 2 weeks for the symptoms of the illness to appear. The most common symptoms according to the HSE are as follows:
- A cough
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
If you do suspect you have the virus it is advised that you first call your GP and explaining the situation over the phone as to avoid spreading the illness further.
Although there are a number of cases confirmed in Ireland the chances of catching the virus at the time of writing this are still low. If this does change it may be helpful to know the at-risk groups are people who are pregnant, over 60 or have had a long-term medical condition such as a heart or lung condition.
The HSE has provided some general hygiene tips that will help you protect yourself. Simple things like washing your hands thoroughly and often are effective in minimising the spread. https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself.html
The World Health Organisation has published a piece on their website that debunks common myths about the virus here https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters
Statement of UL Hospitals Group, HSE Mid West Community Healthcare and HSE Public Health Mid West
HELPLINE NUMBER 1890 300046
UL Hospitals Group and HSE Mid West Community Healthcare can confirm they are working closely with Public Health colleagues in tracing contacts of confirmed cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).
A new helpline 1890 300046 has been launched today Friday 06.03.2020 to provide information and support to the public in Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary who are considered a casual contact or close contact of confirmed cases in the Mid West.
The information and advisory team has been established as a local point of contact. The National HSE Live helpline number is 1850 24 1850. All general queries should be directed to the national helpline number.
The people who have been diagnosed with coronavirus infection have been interviewed in depth by the Department of Public Health and their contacts who are at risk of infection have been identified. This is contact tracing. During the contact tracing process people who have been identified as a contact of the case are categorised as either having “close” contact or “casual contact”. These definitions are based on international best practice and reflect how long the person was in contact with the case and the closeness of physical contact. We are in the process of communicating with these close and casual contacts.
People who live in the communities around these cases, who have not been identified as part of this process, are at the same risk of coronavirus infection as other people living in Ireland.
We remain in the containment phase in relation to COVID -19 and as long as this remains the case, it is important that members of the public follow the most up-to-date advice from the HSE. General advice and information on COVID-19 for members of the public is available on www.hse.ie\coronavirus and the vast majority of people in the Mid West can access all the relevant information here.
HSE Mid West Helpline Opening Hours
10am – 5pm Monday 10am – 5pm Tuesday
10am – 5pm Wednesday 10am – 5pm Thursday
10am – 5pm Friday 10am – 5pm Saturday
10am – 5pm Sunday
Please read through the following instructions from the HSE. Also videos attached for you to watch showing good practice.
Prevention remains our key priority One of the best ways to prevent person to person spread of infectious disease, including COVID-19, is to use proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Hand hygiene: Ensure all Care Workers know to wash hands regularly. Hands should be washed:
after coughing or sneezing
before, during and after you prepare food
after using the toilet
when caring for the sick
when hands are dirty
after handling animals or animal waste
Wash hands with soap and running water when hands are visibly dirty. If hands are not visibly dirty, wash them with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub. See the HSE website for further guidance on hand hygiene. Respiratory hygiene: Ensure Care Workers know to always cover their mouth and nose with a clean tissue when coughing and sneezing and then promptly dispose of the tissue in a bin and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow instead, not into your hands. See the HPSC website for further information on respiratory hygiene.
Please also share the links below with your staff to ensure continual attention to prevention is maintained.
Video - Gov of Ireland
How COVID-19 spreads
Video - How to put on and take off Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Video - NRH 5 moments of hand hygiene for healthcare workers
All of the information here are from the HSE or W.H.O websites.