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Weekly national flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports published

Public Health England

November 26
14:31 2020

Latest update

The main points from this weeks national influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report are:

COVID-19

Surveillance indicators suggest that coronavirus (COVID-19) activity at a national level has decreased during week 47, between 16 and 22 November 2020.

Case rates have fallen across all age groups. The highest case rates were seen in those aged 40 to 49, with a rate of 242.62 per 100,000 population.

Case rates have fallen the most in those aged 20 to 29. In week 47 they were 239.6 per 100,000 population compared to 333.8 in the previous week.

Case rates per 100,000 have fallen across all regions. They were highest in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber and West Midlands.

Positivity rates through Pillar 1 (NHS and PHE testing) and through Pillar 2 (community testing) have both decreased.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents was 1173 in week 47 compared to 1331 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for COVID-19 was 15.50 per 100,000 in week 47 compared to 16.88 per 100,000 in the previous week.

The highest hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were observed in the North East.

Hospital admission rates have fallen overall. Significant falls were observed in the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber and East Midlands, but rises were seen in all other regions, with the steepest rises in the North East, South West and London.

The highest hospital admission rates continue to be those aged 85 and over.

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

That this virus continues to claim an increasing number of lives is a tragedy, but there are now reasons for hope in the data. Case rates have fallen across every age range and in all regions, and positivity in both pillars has also decreased. Over time we can expect that to lead to fewer hospitalisations and deaths. The huge efforts people have made over the past few weeks are starting to pay off.

However, we must not be complacent and squander the gains we have made, even when some measures are eased. By mixing with fewer people, we can help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and bring down the number of infections. This is what will help us to control the virus and protect our family and friends.

Influenza

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

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

  • 75.0% in 65+ year olds
  • 41.2% in under 65 years in a clinical risk group
  • 32.2% in pregnant women
  • 47.6% in 2 year olds
  • 49.4% in 3-year olds
  • 19.8% in school age children
  • 51.6% in healthcare workers

Dr Vanessa Saliba, Head of Flu at PHE said:

We have had an incredible start to the flu vaccination programme, with record uptake in 2 to 3 year olds and rates in over 65s the highest since the 2005 to 2006 season. With over 30 million doses available this season, more people than ever are being offered a free flu vaccine.

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

Thursday 19 November 2020

The main points from this weeks national influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report are:

COVID-19

Surveillance indicators suggest that coronavirus (COVID-19) activity at a national level has remained high during week 46, between 9 and 15 November 2020.

Case rates have fallen among those aged 20 to 69 years old. The highest case rates were seen in those aged 20 to 29, with a rate of 362.1 per 100,000 population.

Case rates for those aged 80+ are 245.3 per 100,000 population in week 46, compared to 235.5 in the previous week.

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

Positivity rates through Pillar 1 (NHS and PHE testing) have increased slightly and decreased slightly through Pillar 2 (community testing).

Positivity rates were highest among those aged 80 and over tested through Pillar 1 (NHS and PHE testing) and in 10 to 19-year-olds tested through Pillar 2 (community testing).

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

The hospitalisation rate for COVID-19 was 16.74 per 100,000 in week 46 compared to 14.23 per 100,000 in the previous week.

The highest hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were observed in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East

By age group, the highest hospital admission rates continue to be those aged 85 and over.

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

The highest rate of infections from the last week continues to be seen in the younger generations. Whilst it is encouraging that case rates amongst those aged between 20 to 69 have fallen, they continued to rise in those over 70 who are more at risk of a bad outcome from the virus. The hospital admission rate also increased and was highest in those over 85.

The effect of the current measures does not yet appear in the data, but we should begin to see the impact soon. By mixing with fewer people, we can help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and bring down the number of infections. This in turn will help us to control the virus and save lives.

Influenza

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

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

  • 72.9% in 65+ year olds
  • 37.8% in under 65 years in a clinical risk group
  • 30.8% in pregnant women
  • 45.0% in 2-year-olds
  • 46.8% 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, Public Health England said:

This winter, more people than ever are being offered a free flu vaccine and it is encouraging to see uptake in 2 to 3-year-olds and those aged 65 and over is higher than ever for this point in the season.

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

Thursday 12 November 2020

The main points from this weeks national influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report are:

COVID-19

Detections of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in England remained high in week 45 with a slight increase on the previous week.

Case rates have increased across all age groups. The highest case rates were seen in those aged 20 to 29, with a rate of 358.9 per 100,000 population.

The biggest increase was seen in those aged 80+ with a rate of 217.1 per 100,000 population in week 45, compared to 192.4 in the previous week.

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

Positivity rates through Pillar 1 (NHS and PHE testing) and Pillar 2 (community testing) have decreased slightly.

Positivity rates were highest among those aged 80 and over tested through Pillar 1 (NHS and PHE testing), as they are more likely to be in hospital, and in 10 to 19-year-olds tested through Pillar 2 (community testing).

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

The hospitalisation rate for COVID-19 was 14.03 per 100,000 in week 45 compared to 13.53 per 100,000 in the previous week.

By NHS regions, the highest hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were observed in the North East.

By age group, the highest hospital admission rates were in those aged 85 and over.

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

The highest rate of infections continues to be seen in the younger generations, but worryingly it is rising quickly in those over 80 who are most at risk of poor outcomes. The current measures are in place to help protect all of us, and anyone can suffer serious illness from this virus.

Limiting contact with others will help to stop the spread of the

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