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Weekly national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports published

Public Health England

October 22
16:21 2020

Latest update

The main points from the weekly national influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report for week 43 (data up to week 42) are:

COVID-19

Highest case rates continue to be observed among those aged 10 to 29, with a rate of 207.7 per 100,000 population for the 10 to 19 age group and 274.3 per 100,000 for those aged 20 to 29, although these have decreased since week 41.

Positivity rates were highest in those aged between 10 and 29 years old.

Case rates per 100,000 are highest in the North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humber.

COVID-19 hospital and critical care admission rates continued to increase.

The hospitalisation rate for COVID-19 was 7.74 per 100,000 in week 42 compared to 5.55 per 100,000 in the previous week.

We are concerned by the disproportionate impact that COVID-19 continues to have on Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Almost 4 in 10 (39.9%) new critical care admissions have involved people from these backgrounds over the course of the pandemic.

By NHS regions, the highest hospital admission rate for COVID-19 were observed in the North West. By age group, the highest hospital admission rates were in those aged 85 and over.

The overall number of acute respiratory infection incidents reported to Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection Teams reduced slightly from 1,140 in the previous week to 1,125 in week 42 in England. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the majority of these incidents.

The number of COVID-19-related deaths increased further.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director of PHE, said:

Hospital admissions and deaths continue to climb right across the country, and there are signs in the data that increasing numbers of older people are now getting seriously ill.

This virus continues to have a disproportionate impact on our Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, who represent nearly 40% of admissions to intensive care.

It is essential to wash your hands, wear a face covering in enclosed spaces and follow social distancing rules. It is a matter of life and death.

Influenza

Flu activity, including GP consultations and hospital admissions, remains low.

Flu vaccine uptake is higher in all groups compared to this time last year. Provisional data suggests uptake rates are:

  • 57.2% in 65+ year olds
  • 16.4% in under 65 years in a clinical risk group
  • 18.1% in pregnant women
  • 26.0% in 2-year-olds
  • 27.4% in 3-year-olds

The first uptake rates for school-age children (reception to year 7) and healthcare workers will be published in November.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, Head of Flu, PHE, said:

This winter, more people than ever are being offered a free flu vaccine and it is encouraging to see uptake so far is higher than last season in all groups.

There is still time to get vaccinated against flu before it starts circulating in the community. We are urging anyone who is eligible to take up the offer. By getting the jab, you can help protect yourself, your family and the NHS it will help save lives.

Previous updates

Friday 15 October 2020

The main points from the weekly national influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report for week 42 (data up to week 41) are:

COVID-19

Highest case rates continue to be observed among those aged 10 to 29, with a rate of 245.2 per 100,000 population for the 10 to 19 age group and 252.6 per 100,000 for those aged 20 to 29.

Positivity rates were highest in those aged between 10 to 19; this was mainly in those in the upper end of the age group.

Incidence and positivity rates remained highest in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humber.

COVID-19 hospital and critical care admission rates continued to increase.

Hospitalisation rates for COVID-19 were 5.55 per 100,000 in week 41, compared to 3.60 per 100,000 in the previous week.

By region, the North West had the highest weekly rate of hospital admissions. By age group, rates were highest among those aged 75+.

The overall number of acute respiratory infection incidents reported to PHE Health Protection Teams increased from 885 in the previous week to 1140 in week 41 in England. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the majority of these incidents.

The number of COVID-19-related deaths increased further.

Influenza

Flu activity, including GP consultations and hospital admissions, remains low.

Flu vaccine uptake is higher in all groups compared to this time last year.

Provisional data suggests uptake rates are:

  • 47.5% in 65+ year olds
  • 12.0% in under 65 years in a clinical risk group
  • 13.0% in pregnant women
  • 19.5% in 2 year olds
  • 21.0% in 3 year olds

The first uptake rates for school age children (Reception to Year 7) and healthcare workers will be published in November.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director for Public Health England, said:

Were now seeing about 40 per cent of positive cases among young adults in their late teens and early twenties, which is causing the disease to spread rapidly throughout the community and older people. And while there are fewer cases among older people, they are far more likely to get seriously ill. That means we are also seeing a worrying increase in people aged over 75 being admitted to hospital. We must be prepared for the number of deaths to rise rapidly as a result.

This picture is particularly acute in the North of England, with the North West the region worst affected.

I cannot stress enough how vital it is that everyone follows the guidelines as they are there to help protect you and your loved ones. Wash your hands regularly, use a face covering and keep your distance.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, Head of Flu, Public Health England said:

This winter, more people than ever are being offered a free flu vaccine and it is encouraging to see uptake so far is higher than last season in all groups.

There is still time to get vaccinated against flu before it starts circulating in the community. We are urging anyone who is eligible to take up the offer. By getting the jab, you can help protect

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