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- PublicationAn Easyguide to Rare Diseases in Ireland: For Government, the General Public, Media and Political PartiesRare diseases are characterised by their relatively low prevalence (less than 1 in 2,000 people in the EU). To have a rare disease is to have a condition that often goes undiagnosed for years. Doctors may never have seen the condition before and hospital diagnostic services may struggle to find the rare disease presented by an individual and their family/carer.
- PublicationThe impact of COVID-19 on health systems, mental health and the potential for nursingCoronovirus (COVID-19) has emerged as the first global pandemic in the twenty-first century (Anderson et al., 2020). COVID-19 is an infection from the new coronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoVid-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Historically, coronaviruses only caused infections in animals. To date, we know of at least seven that have transferred to human beings. Most of these corona-related infections have caused mild symptoms. However, two, the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) have proved more severe and resulted in deaths (Ludwick & Zarbock, 2020). Political and health systems’ responses to COVID-19 have demanded extraordinary public health measures at a population level to respond to modifiable factors such as opportunity and transmission (Kucharski, 2020). Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed significant restrictions on social contact. In Ireland, a series of targeted social movement measures were implemented from March 27th, 2020. These included practices such as social distancing and cocooning for people over 70 years and those with various morbidities. Responses have also been focused on mass population based testing, isolation of those who are positive, contact tracing and social isolation of contacts. While the mental health impacts of this pandemic are not fully clarified, it is reasonable to project that there will be unintended, yet enduring impacts in the context of individual mental health, population health as well as impacts on the way health services are delivered in the medium term until a vaccine is isolated.
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