By Livia Cockerell

DIRECTOR of Public Health Dr Helen Carter has warned that Covid could have unexpected consequences this winter.

The pandemic seems to have impacted the patterns of other diseases, for example, Gibraltar is still recording cases of flu although flu-season normally ends by March or April.

“We´re not sure why this is happening but, typically, we end up with more respiratory infections in the winter, whether that be flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the common cold as well, so we are anticipating that it is going to be a difficult winter ahead,” said Carter.

Currently, the BA.5 variant is causing a surge in cases in Gibraltar. Concerns have arisen as far fewer people are regularly testing and the virus is continuously evolving. However, due to the vaccination programme, most patients only have mild symptoms and the number of hospitalisations is steady.

Moreover, these summer peaks of Covid-19 could be positive as it could increase immunity before the winter months.

Carter claims that, at present, she is still waiting for the UK government to confirm whether or not Gibraltar will be offered booster jabs.

“We want to reassure everyone that we are in a very different place this year,” she stated.

“The vaccines are working well enough to prevent most of the hospitalisations and severe consequences of the disease.”

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