Covid-19 Infections in England at Highest Level Yet, Study Finds
(Bloomberg) -- Coronavirus infections in England reached their highest level yet in October, based on a large study published before what may prove to be a difficult winter.
While hospitalizations and deaths remained low, the React-1 study led by Imperial College London recorded the highest prevalence of cases since the research began in May 2020. Covid infections among study participants increased to 1.72%, or one in 58 people, more than double the level in the previous month’s report.
The study arrives as the U.K. is stepping up efforts to tackle respiratory illnesses. Last month, the country started its largest ever flu shot drive to address concern over a spike in Covid cases coinciding with a resurgent flu. On Monday, National Health Service walk-in centers began offering Covid booster jabs without an appointment.
Infections among children remained the highest, the report showed. For kids between the ages of five and 12, the prevalence was 5.85%, just above the level of 5.75% for those between 13 and 17. The prevalence in people 65 and over doubled from the last report.
“Although the number of hospitalisations and deaths remain lower than in previous peaks, these findings are a powerful reminder that the pandemic is far from over and remains a serious threat to health and wellbeing,” said Jenny Harries, chief executive of the U.K. Health Security Agency.
U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that the study sends an “important message” about remaining vigilant heading into the winter months.
The React-1 study looked at the levels of Covid-19 infections among more than 67,000 volunteers in the period from Oct. 19 to Oct. 29.
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