Call for vigilance over Covid-19 as highest infection rates in Highlands are reported in Wick
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A health chief has warned of the need to remain vigilant over Covid-19 after it emerged that Wick currently has the highest infection rates in the Highlands.
Dr Tim Allison, director of public health at NHS Highland, urged the public to minimise close contact with others to limit further spread of the virus.
There were 49 positive tests for the virus in the Wick area during the latest seven-day period recorded by Public Health Scotland.
Dr Allison said: "There is still a high level of transmission of Covid-19 within the Highlands and minimising spread remains vitally important.
"There is no single situation driving the numbers up and the virus continues to spread within our communities.
"The impact on families, local schools and businesses remains significant. While Covid-19 is circulating at such high levels, we would advise you to try to minimise close contact with others to limit further spread within our communities.
“It is important that we remain vigilant for symptoms. The typical symptoms are a new continuous cough, a high temperature or fever and a loss of, or change in, normal taste or smell. However, people with Covid-19 can present with a wide range of symptoms including headache, sore muscles and joints, tiredness, sore throat, cold-like symptoms and diarrhoea and vomiting.
"Anyone that becomes unwell should isolate immediately and book a PCR test.”
Public Health Scotland's interactive dashboard has a map giving the number of positive cases in individual Scottish neighbourhoods, seven of which are in Caithness. It shows that in the most recent seven-day spell there were 26 positive cases in Wick South and 23 in Wick North.
The town's seven-day rates per 100,000 population are well above those for any of the other Highland neighbourhoods, with a rate of 759.6 for Wick South and 714.3 for Wick North.
The figures were based on people tested from October 9-15.
Over the same period there were 12 positive cases in the Caithness South neighbourhood, five in Caithness North East, four in Thurso West and three in Thurso East.
If a neighbourhood has fewer than three positive cases, the number is presented as 0-2 "to help protect patient confidentiality". The county's other neighbourhood – Caithness North West – came into this category based on tests from October 9-15, meaning there could have been zero, one or two positive cases.
There were 12 cases in the Sutherland East neighbourhood, four in Sutherland North and West and 0-2 in Sutherland South.
Public Health Scotland reported 504 positive cases in the Highland local authority area during the seven-day period. The region's seven-day positive rate per 100,000 population was 214.1.