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virus concerns Irish GPs told to be on alert for possible new strain of Covid-19 linked to minks in Denmark

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Covid-19 test

Covid-19 test

Covid-19 test

Irish GPs have been told to be on alert for possible cases of a new strain of Covid-19 linked to minks in Denmark.

The circular was issued today from the Irish College of General Practitioners and follows cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in Denmark showing mutation of the virus spreading from animals to humans.

Six countries have now reported cases of this strain of Covid-19 which is not thought to be any more virulent than the current strain but could potentially impact how effective Covid-19 vaccines will be .

The circular to Irish GPs states that “our public health colleagues have requested the circulation of this HPSC update relating to people travelling from Denmark and the risk of introducing a new strain of coronavirus.

The 14 days of restricted movement is critical to prevent introduction of this strain to Ireland.

The information advisory note from Dr John Cuddihy, Interim Director of HPSC, is issued to all clinicians in Ireland relating to the SARS-CoV-2 viral mutation identified in minks in five Danish mink farms, and seen in viral isolates from 12 persons living in the surrounding areas in Denmark.

“All clinicians are requested to maintain increased awareness of the possibility of Covid-19 in persons who have travelled from Denmark in the previous 14 days.

“Advise the person to self-isolate and arrange for Covid-19 testing if they have any symptoms suggestive of Covid-19.

"A low threshold for testing is advised.”

It said that Covid-19 infection prevention and control precautions should be strictly adhered to when dealing with those who have returned from Denmark in the previous 14 days.

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Individuals should not be seeking routine outpatient, ambulatory or primary care, elective treatment while in their 14 days of isolation after return from Denmark.

Primary and secondary care organisations should assess that an individual has returned from Denmark and delay elective and non-urgent treatment.

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