Virology expert warns that new waves of Covid-19 expected every few months
A VIROLOGY expert based in Dublin has warned that new waves of Covid-19 can be expected every few months and it is "not going to be seasonal".
Dr Gerald Barry, an assistant professor in virology at University College Dublin, said he believes that new waves of the virus are likely "every three to four months".
His comments come amid a further increase rise in patients with the virus in hospitals in the Republic.
Figures reveal that the number of people with coronavirus had risen by 30 per cent in two weeks and more than doubled from three weeks ago.
There were 826 patients with the virus yesterday - an increase of 30 on the same time the day previous. The current surge in cases is being driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron.
Dr Barry told RTÉ News yesterday that "it's not going to be seasonal, at least it doesn't appear to be like flu, where it kind of disappears during the summer".
He said "it is likely that its ability to spread is reduced during the summer, so it is a little bit seasonal I suppose, but nothing to the extent that we see with things like the flu, or other traditional coronaviruses that tend to disappear during the summer and come back in winter."
But he also said that if the current pattern continues, it is likely that new waves of the virus will appear "every three to four months".
He said that new variants of potential concern are already being identified elsewhere in the world and "it is likely that this kind of pattern, unfortunately, is going to continue for the foreseeable future".
Dr Barry also called for an increased information campaign about the benefits of mask wearing, antigen testing and ventilation in helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19.