GPs report ‘surge’ in children attending for Covid-19 opinion

Increase in children attending GPs for possible Covid-19 being experienced countrywide since schools reopened — IMO

Dr Denis McCauley

General practitioners (GPs) across Ireland are reporting a “surge” in the number of children attending for assessment for possible Covid-19 infections, the trade union for family doctors has said today (Tuesday).

Dr Denis McCauley, Chairman of the GP Committee of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), said the increase in assessments for children was being experienced across the country.

“Our GP members right across the country are reporting a very significant increase in requests from parents for assessments of their children for possible Covid-19.

“We had anticipated a development like this following the long-awaited reopening of the schools, but we are nevertheless struck by the volume of enquiries being received by members.”

With an increase in viral illness, he also highlighted that the advice had changed, and it was essential that assessments for testing should be made by health professionals. Previously, he told Irish Medical Times, the advice for viral illnesses would have been to watch their condition for two to three days.

Now, the goal was to see everyone at the onset of any viral illness. GPs could then screen out non-Covid-19 cases and detect other important conditions which may present.

An assessment by GPs was the most important piece of public health advice and allowed the patient to be taken through advice and recommendations by a health professional.

Dr McCauley said the IMO supported the reopening of schools, and that Public Health doctors were working closely with schools countrywide to manage any reported cases of Covid-19.

“It is absolutely right that the schools have reopened and that parents are seeking advice on possible Covid cases. The increase in demand for assessments is positive as it demonstrates that parents are monitoring their children’s health closely.

“By being proactive, they are doing their bit to prevent the spread of Covid-19 within the schools and the wider community and are doing a great job, but it is important that all of us in society support this by doing our bit handwashing, social distancing and reducing contacts,” he added.

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