• Sat. Oct 29th, 2022

An outbreak of Covid-19 in Athlone is “probably the Delta variant”, Director of Public Health, HSE Midlands has said.

Jun 22, 2021

An outbreak of Covid-19 in Athlone is probably the Delta variant, Director of Public Health, HSE Midlands has said.
Dr Una Fallon said there are at least 14 primary positive cases associated with the Athlone outbreak, but that HSE Midlands have identified other links to the cluster.
Dr Fallon said it became apparent that there were a cluster of cases associated with socialising in the area near the River Shannon on Friday, June 11.
The Delta variant is now thought to be responsible for up to 20pc of new cases in the country and is expected to become the dominant variant within weeks.
The HSE is advising people who were socialising in Athlone on June 11, and who may have been exposed, to attend a Covid-19 test centre, which can be booked online. The HSE said there have been reports of house parties taking place that night, and it may be that social distancing advice was not adhered to.
Some of the samples of the positive tests from this cluster were only sent for testing due to the need for Public Health Midlands to send swabs associated with international travel for testing at the same time.
Some of these then then came back with an S-gene positive result for cases associated with that cluster. The evidence, number of cases and secondary cases then started to grow over the weekend, Dr Fallon told RTÉs Morning Ireland.
These tests were not subject to whole genome sequencing so its not certain as of yet whether the cases are the Delta variant, but Dr Fallon said it is probable.
Dr Fallon said it is very difficult for public health teams to engage with and trace this type of outbreak in comparison to a school or workplace outbreak due to the vague and spontaneous nature of it.
She appealed to anyone that may be in contact with anyone involved in this outbreak to come forward for testing.
The only thing we can really do is to appeal to the community that might be at risk and to ask them, if they were connected in any way to that timing and placeto present for testing, Dr Fallon said.
Dr Fallon pleaded with younger people in Athlone that may have mild symptoms not to tolerate them and turn up for work.
She urged anyone with symptoms not to go to work or gatherings and to come forward for testing.