Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health Dr Tony Holohan

Last night.

HSE briefing.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that if people start experiencing flu-like symptoms over the coming days, then to presume it is Covid-19.

He said doctors are seeing very little in terms of other viruses at the moment.

“The positivity rate in the community is approaching 25%. If you have these symptoms, it is unlikely to be anything else other than Covid at this point in time.

“If you’re waiting for a test, if you’ve been referred by your GP or waiting for the result of a test, you must self-isolate,” he said.


5 things we learned from this evening’s NPHET briefing (RTÉ)


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56 thoughts on “Night Chills

    1. Junkface

      Older men in Germany seem to do this a lot. I had to tell a very old man the other day to cover his nose for his own safety. They need to put correct mask wearing posters in the windows of shopping centres. Big posters.

      Don’t get me started on the people with the chin masks. Ha ha!

    2. millie bobby brownie

      My father in law is dreadful for this. He lets it hang on the tip of his nose, which is entirely incorrect and downright stupid, especially because it keeps slipping down off his nose and he then has to pull it back up into position with his hands eliminating the whole point of not touching your face unless absolutely necessary, and then it sits on the tip of his nose and the whole bloody farce starts all over again. Does my head in altogether.

      1. paul

        this is where people with glasses, like myself, can actually benefit themselves. I have to wedge my mask under my glasses to avoid fogging so I’m covered from under the glabella to below the jowls.

        It does mean my lower peripheral vision is diminished so walking up stairs is a careful business.

        1. millie bobby brownie

          Ah the great glasses conundrum. It’s a fine balance of getting the glasses to sit *just so* or it’s foggy goggles all round!

          Sadly on my father in law’s part, it’s just laziness and a deliberate misunderstanding of how covid spreads. He doesn’t care. Sees it as an inconvenience because it hasn’t affected him except to interfere with his travel plans. He hasn’t yet held his new grandson because he can’t be bothered to follow basic rules like masks and quarantine when he is home.

          1. paul

            that’s a shame re: your father in law. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a personal stake for folks to really get behind something.

            I always thought Douglas Adams’ idea of SEP’s (Somebody Elses Problem) to be funny, now it’s funny and frustrating and tragic all rolled up into one.

  1. GiggidyGoo

    “The positivity rate in the community is approaching 25%” (Which means, on average, that one in four of the people you’ll meet, has it)
    or should that be
    “The positivity rate in Covid tests is approaching 25%.”

      1. GiggidyGoo

        What does that comment mean? If you can explain exactly what Holohan means, go right ahead. If you can’t then you’re in the same boat as me – would you not like it clarified?

    1. Mr .T

      Woeful comment by Holohan – it implies 25% of all people have it, reality is 25% of all people who get a test, will test positive.

    2. Brother Barnabas

      no, it doesn’t mean that, giggidy

      the “positivity rate” refers to the % of positive test results

      it’s a universal standard term that’s been in popular use since march

      1. scottser

        my neighbour works as admin in one of the dublin labs. she said on this morning’s shift; out of a batch of 1200 swabs, 250 were positive. i asked if it was because they were testing more and she said no, the infection rate is simply higher than they’ve ever seen before.

  2. rominick

    “doctors are seeing very little in terms of other viruses”
    Does that line raise a red flag for anyone???
    Or is everyone still asleep?
    First time in thousands of years that the flu has gone missing.

    1. Dan

      First time the majority of the population are wearing masks. But thank God you are ‘awake’ and investigating! Look forward to your peer-reviewed paper on what you discover.

    2. Junkface

      This is the first time maybe since WW2, that the airline industry has been disrupted like this. As I mentioned before, there is a study by Australian scientists that have linked the yearly flu to international travel. This, and the wearing of masks have made the Flu numbers really drop. 3 times that I can remember catching a bad flu was after flying in the winter.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        + lockdowns, social distancing, hand washing, no sneezing and coughing with abandon, increased uptake of flu vaccine, no crowded public gatherings, hardly anyone on public transport, no handshaking, no kissing, no hugging, no sharing of spliffs, no licking other’s lollipops… plus a host of other, more scientific reasons that alickdouglas listed recently

          1. Cian

            What? We are supposed to stop licking other people’s lollipops? Why didn’t the HSE tell us this?

            I’ve been doing it wrong….

          2. Brother Barnabas

            and then there’s the consent issue, cian

            just because you can run away fast doesnt make it ok

    3. Micko

      Could flu not have “disappeared” just because we’re not testing for it?

      If you have flu/Covid symptoms and you go for a Covid test and that test is negative, I’d imagine it usually goes no further – you just go home and deal with the symptoms.

      1. alickdouglas

        ECDC have a sentinel surveillance system for flu: they try to get up to about 5% of physicians in each EEA country sending a tests from a percentage of all their flu-like illness patients for influenza testing. Results are published weekly, looks like they do about 750 flu-specific tests a week. Week 51 2020 there were 0 positive tests for infliuenza. I absent-mindedly checked week 51 in a different year, there were 32% positive in 2017.

        So yes, if you go to your GP with flu symptoms it’s likely they’ll run a SARS2 test and not an influenza one (nor any other respiratory virus), but if you go to a physician in the sentinel network, they’ll run both. Will be interesting to see what has happened with the other respiratory viruses during lockdown, but I don’t think that there is regular public-domain reporting for anything other than influenza and SARS2 currently.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            micko gets upset if you suggest he’s a bit stupid, but he does tend to misunderstood pretty much everything he reads

            a danger to himself in many respects

          2. alickdouglas

            No, we are testing for it. EEA-wide surveillance testing for flu appears largely unchanged vs 2019: 148 000 flu tests have been reported to the surveillance system since week 40 of 2020. 390 of those tests were positive. They are testing, and it’s not there.

            For completeness, in 2019 there were 799 tests done in Week 51 (vs. the 750 done this year), 273 were positive in 2019 vs 0 this year.

          3. Micko

            Ah yeah. I misread what you wrote. My bad

            Brother. You’re not a very happy or nice person are you?

            Good luck with your life. It must be hard

            I feel sorry for you my brother.

          4. johnny

            (it seems to consist of insulting/bullying people on here,i think he’s afraid,lives in fear,he’s on here all day,ever day,if he had any family/friends they would have had a word) )

          5. Brother Barnabas

            another one who gives it but cant take it

            in fairness, johnny, you of all people complaining about someone being insulting and bullying… that’s been you all over since day 1

          6. johnny

            …take a breath bro its gonna be ok,want try that word salad again,in english:)

            His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
            There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti

            ps-its not even a sport,too easy.

          7. Micko

            I sense that you hold some hatred towards me and my opinions brother.

            Let it go man.

            It will only eat you up.

            Critique my opinions as much as you like. But this bullying and criticising my intellectual ability is schoolyard stuff I’m not getting drawn into.

          8. Micko

            Yourself and others here seem to take some sort of sadistic pleasure in demeaning others and their intelligence.

            You will be the death of this website.

            People will no longer offer their opinions due to the fact that they will be shouted down and called stupid

            I know that’s how I feel somedays. – I think “Yeah I don’t agree with what they’ve said , but I’m not going to comment on that – I don’t need the stress today”

            It’s literally how echo chambers are created. And it makes us all mean and nasty.

            Logic would dictate that everyone on this site works in an industry that has allowed us ALL ample time to comment here.

            There is no one stupid here. Criticise opinions fine, but your constant calling out of people even when they haven’t posted is childish.

            Humans are pattern recognition animals and just because people see different patterns and correlations in our world that leads them to believe different things to you – is no reason to put their intelligence or understanding down constantly.

            We all thankfully find ourselves in the middle of the IQ bell curve, very few are on the fringes – there are NO geniuses or morons here.

            Let it go.

    4. spud

      Every Christmas / year end, someone in my house gets a bad cold.

      I haven’t even had a head cold over the past 6 months or so.
      Same for my wife and kids.
      Masks / washing hands and social distancing is working for other things too.

  3. baz

    Tony pulled the phone line when Pat Kenny tweaked a nerve with him during an interview this morning.
    HSE / NPHET move slower than glaciers and they are being found out and finally the heretofore slavish media are starting to call them out on their failures.

  4. Slightly Bemused

    I got stopped by a pair of Gardai today. First time since the official outbreak. I was out for my daily walk, and it is a beautiful if cool day. I was walking along the stretch by the Liffey, and I stopped and was just enjoying the view and the sound of the birds. I think I may have been grinning like a loon, and one couple went past. I got a strange look.

    So a short while later I passed the walking patrol of the Guards, and I think it is possible this was called in, and they stopped me to ask where I was going. Of course the mask went on before any conversation. I tend not to wear it as my glasses fog up outside, but always do in groups or in shops and such.

    Now once things were cleared up with the Gardai I realised that another benefit of the mask, if I can figure out the fogging problem, is that I can grin like a loon without scaring the public. Having realised that previously when I did not keep my hair and beard in trim I was frightening children in the supermarket, I may need to pay more attention.

    I am not sure what it is like elsewhere, but the Gardai here are wonderful. I have watched them when they had to do checkpoints, and not only are they polite, but half the time they know all of us by name. And us them. Not in a scary way, just because we pass each other all the time in the street. One reason I still love this town

    I should add that the older of the Guards, when I was stopped, said ‘Oh, it’s you!’ I always thought the phrase ‘He was known to the Gardai’ was ominous, but sometimes it is heartening

    But the river was lovely, and the birdsong beautiful.

    1. scottser

      my daily walk is up near 3 rock. there is an intriguing battle of wills going on with an unknown antagonist who is placing bolders along the walking trails to inhibit the mountain bikers, who in fairness are turning the trails to mud and swamp. some of these rocks are bloody huge and would take some work to shift, even with levers.
      there is one particular rock that annoys me, which is placed over a stream in an area where frogs spawn and interrupts the water flow. I have hoofed that rock down hill several times and thrown it into gorse bushes but every few days it appears back in the stream. next week i’m going to take a lump hammer up there and be done with it.
      aside from that, the peace and quiet up there is fantastic.

      1. Slightly Bemused

        You ay need a sledge and a splitting chisel, if you can source one. I am no longer capable, but my Dad showed me how when I was a younger, stronger lad

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