Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Lauren Harte & Rebecca Daly

Irish GP outlines the latest illnesses spreading around and what symptoms to look out for

A leading GP has outlined what symptoms to look out for this winter when it comes to colds, coughs and more.

Some may even experience gastroenteritis, a common condition that causes diarrhoea and vomiting.

Dr Alan Stout, a GP based in Belfast, has outlined the common illnesses that are doing the rounds at the moment that may not be caused by Covid-19.

Read more: Former RTE radio star Gareth O'Callaghan gives update on wife's health after sudden illness

Of course, if you experience symptoms of Covid, the first thing to do is to take an antigen test. Once that’s ruled out, it’s time to look at what else is going on.

Dr Stout said: “There's definitely quite a lot of RSV, which includes colds and coughs and normally affects children but we're seeing it in adults too at the moment.

"That tends to see more cold-like symptoms and we're also seeing a slow and trending increase in cases of flu but not in huge or concerning numbers yet.

"There are more cases of vomiting and diarrhoea in the practice over the past few weeks amongst both children and adults but there are no alerts or particular trends just yet or a formal diagnosis."

He added: "The symptoms we're seeing include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, a high temperature which are similar to gastroenteritis or the Norovirus.

"The thing is once you get one virus starting to circulate, what happens is that it drags people's immune systems down and they're more prone to picking up other things. You do tend to get these patterns of two or three things circulating at any one time."

Dr Stout said the rise in cases is linked to people mixing with no barriers again and after the recent reopening of schools.

"Year on year in general practice we always know that the second and third week of September are going to be difficult because schools go back and they share all the bugs amongst each other and bring them home as well.

"We have all been so protected for the past couple years due to the pandemic so we are seeing bugs spreading in a way they haven't for a while due to the various measures that were in place whenever Covid was at its worst.

Dr Alan Stout, chair of the BMA's GP committee in Northern Ireland ((Image: BelfastLive))

"We've been protected from that over the past few years so our immune systems aren't quite used to it," he added.

"There's absolutely no need to panic as self-limiting viral infections are just part of life. They do tend to get better in the vast majority of cases through self-medication and treatment by taking paracetamol or ibuprofen and plenty of fluids.

"Your pharmacist is the next useful port of call after that or your GP if you're becoming very unwell."


Get breaking news to your inbox by signing up to our newsletter

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.