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Capital has half of all deaths as links to child disease probed

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Drury Street, Dublin, yesterday

Drury Street, Dublin, yesterday

Drury Street, Dublin, yesterday

Dublin continues to be the worst hit by Covid-19, with 51pc of the total number of confirmed deaths from the virus.

A new information bulletin from the Central Statistics Office has analysed data on Covid deaths and cases from February 28 to August 7.

Its figures showed the week ending up to and including August 7 was the 10th week in a row that Dublin had fewer than 100 weekly cases since the start of March.

In relation to confirmed cases, healthcare workers continue to make up almost a third of all cases.

Men made up 62pc of cases for the week ending August 7.

More than three-quarters of cases were linked to an outbreak in that week and almost half (46pc) were linked to an outbreak in the workplace.The 25-44 age group showed the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases at 9,315.

Separately, new research into a childhood disease linked with Covid-19 has found that it causes changes in white blood cells.

University of Limerick was one of three universities involved.

Children are less likely to suffer from Covid-19 and appear to only have mild symptoms when infected.

But in some children a rare but severe illness appears to follow the viral infection.

Rare

Paediatric inflammatory multi-system syndrome is associated with Sars-CoV-2 and known as PIMS-TS.

It is similar to Kawasaki disease, a rare illness affecting young children. Because PIMS-TS is so new and Kawasaki disease is so rare, very little is known about either and how to treat them.

The University of Limerick has worked with University of Birmingham and University of Warwick to examine blood samples from children admitted with both diseases to Birmingham Women and Children's Hospital during the UK's coronavirus lockdown.

It found there were large changes in white blood cells, known as monocytes, in patients with both diseases but there were slight differences between the responses from PIMS-TS and Kawasaki disease, which meant they are not the same.

Sample

Dr Eanna Fennell, a post-doctoral fellow in the Health Research Institute and the Bernal Institute, University of Limerick helped to lead the analysis of the blood cells.

Dr Fennell said that while the research was carried out on a small sample of patients, it could help contribute to finding a way to treat the disease.