Monday, May 23, 2022

Covid infection rate falls as country returns to normalcy

The update came after it emerged that people who are fully engorged and have also caught the virus appear to develop “super immunity”. The spread in England peaked from 5 to 20 January, with an average of one in 23 people infected. This was almost three times higher than the one in 64 ratio in January 2021 among the second wave.

Trends were less certain last week, with cases declining among adults but rising among children.

The latest round of Imperial College London’s React-1 survey, based on swabs from over 100,000 people, provided data.

Experts are concerned about rising rates in children this month.

The highest prevalence – one case in every 13 youth – was noted in the age group five to 11.

Professor Paul Elliott from Imperial said: “The good news in our data is that infections were falling sharply during January.

“But they are still very high and have recently stopped at a much higher spread.

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“What is of particular concern is the rapid spread among children now that they are mixing more since the start of the school period.”

He warned that the infection rate among people over 65 was seven to 12 times higher in January than in December. This can lead to an increase in hospital admissions.

Prof Elliott said: “It is important that we continue to monitor the situation closely to understand the impact of the Omicron variant, which now makes up almost all infections.”

Dr Jenny Harris, chief executive of the UK Health Protection Agency, said: “The latest round of React data reiterates that the case rate has slowed recently, but the prevalence is still high.

“Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness and hospitalization. The effect of vaccination on preventing serious illness and increasing hospitalization is clear.”

More promising news came in the form of a US study showing that “surprisingly strong” immunity is produced in people who have tested positive and have stopped altogether.

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Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University call the boosted state “hybrid immunity.”

Study author Fikadu Tafse said: “It doesn’t matter if you become infected, then vaccinated, or if you do get vaccinated there is a successful infection.

“In any case, you’ll get a really, really strong immune response — surprisingly high.”

The study was done before the emergence of Omicron. But the team expects the enhanced immune responses to remain the same.

Yesterday, 94,326 COVID cases were reported across the UK with 439 deaths. From

Case figures on Monday will include possible re-infections, the UK Health Protection Agency has said, meaning people who test positive at least 90 days after the previous test will be counted as a new case.

The Office for National Statistics estimated that the risk of reinfection was 16 times higher from Omicron than from the delta version.

Nation World News Desk
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