Schools and businesses across the region will be hit by absences due to Covid-19 this winter.
That's according to Virologist and Roscommon man Gerald Barry following the news that a new Covid variant has been identified in Ireland.
The HSE yesterday confirmed Eris - a more transmissable form of the Omicron strain, which has become established in the UK and US - has now been detected in Ireland.
As a result, it's advising healthcare settings to review their infection control measures and reminding the public to stay vigilant.
Assisant Professor of Virology at UCD, Gerald Barry says the Winter months always result in spikes in respiratory diseases:
"You have to anticipate that coming into December, and particularly January, we are going to see another big wave of Covid through the population, much like we have seen probably in previous years. That's going to lead to absences from school, absences from work, (and) it's going to lead to a large percentage of the population feeling a bit rubbish in or around the beginning and middle of January. Unfortunately, that is the inevitable cycle that we are now in with Covid and that doesn't seem to be abating anytime soon."