COVID peaks for second time this year
February 11, 2022
This article has not been updated recently
LONDON, UK. According to ZOE COVID Study incidence figures, in total there are currently 203,973 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average, based on PCR and LF test data from up to three days ago [*]. An increase of 4.5% from 195,068 reported last week (Graph 1).
In the vaccinated population (at least two doses), there are currently 77,954 new daily symptomatic cases in the UK. An increase of 9% from 71,477 new daily cases reported last week (Graph 2).
The UK R value is estimated to be around 1.1 and regional R values are; England, 1.0, Wales, 1.1, Scotland, 1.1. (Table 1).
In terms of prevalence, on average 1 in 25 people in the UK currently have symptomatic COVID. In the regions, England, 1 in 24. Wales, 1 in 35. Scotland, 1 in 36. (Table 1).
New daily symptomatic cases continue to rise in all regions (Graph 3).
Cases are now slowing in all age groups, apart from the 18-34 group where cases continue to increase, and the older, more vulnerable 75+ age group who are slightly increasing. Cases are slowing in the 0-18 and 35-74 year old age groups (Graph 4).
According to the data, ZOE estimates that 39.5% of people experiencing new “cold-like“ symptoms are likely to have symptomatic COVID-19, meaning any new ‘cold-like’ symptoms are more likely to be a cold than COVID. (Graph 5).
According to most recent ONS reports compared with ZOE COVID Study reports, cases continue to increase at a similar rate (Graph 6).
According to the ZOE COVID Study, reinfection rates of confirmed cases are estimated to currently be around 7% based on an average of the last two weeks.
The ZOE COVID Study incidence figures (new symptomatic cases) are based on reports from up to a million weekly contributors and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have received positive swab tests. The latest survey figures were based on data from 50,264 recent swab tests done on symptomatic cases in the two weeks up to 7th February 2022.
Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, comments on the latest data:
”Although the true rate of new cases (unlike the government dashboard) is currently far too high, it is somewhat reassuring to see signs of rates slowing down and it looks like we’ve now passed the second big peak of the year, with hospitalisations, ICU cases and deaths also continuing to fall. Cases need to decline more among older and more vulnerable age groups before we can start to relax, and it’s still too early to tell the effects of Long COVID as a result of an Omicron infection or the effect of the super infectious BA.2 variant that continues to increase nationally. Despite the Government’s hasty decision to end all restrictions this month, and the message this sends, this does not mean the pandemic is over and we should all try to be good citizens by continuing to self-isolate when ill and protect ourselves and others from what can be a really nasty infection.”
Graph 1. The ZOE COVID Study UK incidence figures total number of daily new cases over time.
Graph 2. The ZOE COVID Study UK incidence figures results over time; total number of new cases and new cases in fully vaccinated
Graph 3. Incidence rate by region
Graph 4. Incidence by age group
Blue = 0-17 years old
Orange = 18-34 years old
Green = 35-54 years old
Red = 55-74 years old
Purple = 75-119 years old
Graph 5. Comparison of new onset of cold-like illness and new onset of COVID with respiratory symptoms
Graph 6. Comparison of reported case prevalence across different surveillance studies in England: ONS, ZOE COVID Study, REACT
Table 1. Incidence (daily new symptomatic cases)[*], R values and prevalence regional breakdown table
Map of UK prevalence figures
NOTES TO EDITORS
To request an interview with Professor Tim Spector, please contact Louise on firstname.lastname@example.org or Victoria Vazquez on email@example.com
[*] Note that incidence estimates by NHS region are calculated separately from the UK nations and they don’t necessarily add up to the total for England.
The ZOE COVID Study UK Infection Survey estimates the number of current COVID-19 positive cases in the community based on the information logged by users in the app and the results from the swab testing programme. It identifies differences in numbers within the regions throughout the UK, and tracks the change in estimated cases over time. It is the largest survey of its kind in the UK. We estimated from a sub-study of app users with antibodies after the first wave that the asymptomatic rate is around 19%, which should be added when comparing to general surveys like ONS. The paper is live on the Journal of Infection: https://www.journalofinfection.com/article/S0163-4453(20)30653-8/fulltext. Recent data suggests the rate of asymptomatic disease may have increased however.
This analysis for incidence data requires swab testing, which was kindly provided by the Department of Health and Social Care Testing is happening in Northern Ireland, but the number of participants is too few to generate an accurate estimate. These figures exclude care homes as there is not enough data from the app to estimate this population. We are not capturing most hospital acquired infections.
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The ZOE COVID Study app is a not-for-profit initiative that was launched at the end of March 2020 to support vital COVID-19 research. The app was launched by ZOE with scientific analysis provided by King’s College London.
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