Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.14 1 Sep 2020


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A consultant virologist says he is 'disappointed' to see young people talking about licking each other in a video on social media.

The video shows several girls, believed to be from the Skerries area of Co Dublin, guessing which friend was going to get infected with COVID-19 next.

One girl seen in the video suggests: "I think everyone's going to test positive because I like to lick and share drinks with people when I'm drunk, and I also tested positive, so good luck".

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Dr Cillian De Gascun, who is also chair of the COVID-19 expert advisory group, told Pat Kenny this seems to be a minority of younger people.

"The majority of people aren't acting in that manner.

"I think it just shows that given the right set of circumstances this virus remains very transmissible.

"We all need to reduce the number of contacts that we have in order to allow us to continue to do as much as possible from a previous normal perspective, if you like, in the context of going back to school, going back to work, being able to socialise.

"But the thing is if we don't implement the public health measures that everyone's very familiar with now - in the context of distancing, of hand hygiene, of face coverings - then if the virus gets an opportunity it can spread very, very quickly.

"Obviously we have seen that with large outbreaks in recent weeks and then the large number of outbreaks within the household settings.

"So it's obviously disappointing behaviour to see, but it's not representative of the majority."

He said efforts are being made to make sure the message is getting through to younger people.

"Thankfully I suppose the majority of therm won't have severe illness.

"But obviously the concern is that the more virus we have circulating in the community, in any population or in any cohort, increase the risk of it drifting and bleeding into that vulnerable group and the older age group, which suffered so badly and so significantly in the early part of the outbreak.

"But... I think notwithstanding the communications message, I suppose there will always be a small number of individuals that will disregard the message no matter how clear it is".

'Disappointing behaviour' seen in 'licking' video on social media

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Main image: Dr Cillian De Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, at a briefing from the Department of Health in Dublin. Picture by: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

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