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Parents urged to remain vigilant as children return to school

Dr Mary Favier said parents should keep their youngsters isolated at home if they are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath.

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Parents should remain vigilant around symptoms as their children return to school, a senior GP in Ireland said (Nick Ansell/PA)

Parents should remain vigilant around symptoms as their children return to school, a senior GP in Ireland said (Nick Ansell/PA)

Parents should remain vigilant around symptoms as their children return to school, a senior GP in Ireland said (Nick Ansell/PA)

Parents should remain vigilant around symptoms as their children return to school, a senior GP in Ireland has said.

Schools are due to reopen within days.

President of the Irish College of GPs Dr Mary Favier said parents should keep their youngsters isolated at home if they are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, flu-like symptoms, or loss of taste or smell.

She added: “Parents should also remain aware of asymptomatic transmission – like some adults, children may not present symptoms but can still carry the virus.

“If you have vulnerable people in your limited network, ensure physical distancing is adhered to and encourage regular hand washing habits with your child.”

Dr Cillian De Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said children can get multiple respiratory tract infections over the winter period and as a result could require repeated swab tests.

Medical experts are continuing to assess alternative testing methods for children.

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting chief medical officer, said international experience to date suggests that children do not commonly transmit Covid-19 to other children or adults in schools and most infection was passed in the home.

“Internationally, where schools have been reopened, schools have not been a significant driver of community transmission,” he said.

“We all have a role to play in keeping this virus at low levels – this is key to protecting our education system over the coming weeks.”

PA