Public Health England (PHE) has published its latest weekly national influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report.
Dr Simon Clarke, Associate Professor in Cellular Microbiology at the University of Reading, said:
“The latest Covid surveillance report from PHE shows that there is still a lot of Covid about. We have been bumping along at a similar rate for the past few weeks, with infections currently being driven by secondary school-aged children.
“The official guidance provided by PHE with the latest report is to wear masks when mixing with others, get vaccinated, and avoid mixing with others if you feel unwell. Given that most schools continue to operate largely without masks, without social distancing, and with many pupils either not yet jabbed or ineligible for a vaccine, it is unsurprising that more than 1 per cent of all children aged 10 to 19 is currently infected.
“There is good news in the data in the rapidly declining rate of infection among young adults aged 20 to 29. A few months ago, this age group was driving surging transmission rates, now they have one of the lowest rates of all age groups, similar to retirees. This seems likely due to the success of vaccination reducing infections in this age group, who are increasingly protected.
“The PHE data also shows, as many people can attest, that we are seeing the return of the common cold. Flu rates remain low at the moment but hospitals will be watching rates carefully this winter, as a bad flu season could put hospitals under pressure again. Flu, like Covid, can be lethal for the elderly and those with weaker immune systems, so those eligible for a flu jab should remember to get theirs as soon as they are able.”
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