Cumbria Times
A Voice of the North
2:48 PM 26th August 2021

Weekly National Flu And COVID-19 Surveillance Reports Published - 26 August 2021

National influenza and COVID-19 report, monitoring coronavirus (COVID-19) activity, seasonal flu and other seasonal respiratory illnesses.

The main points from this week’s national influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report are:

Surveillance indicators suggest that at a national level COVID-19 activity has been stable in week 33 of 2021.

Case rates were highest in those aged 10 to 19, with a 7-day rate of 616.5 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a 7-day rate of 95.2 per 100,000 population.

Seven-day case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South West at 481.7.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in London with a 7-day rate of 247.3.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 439 in week 33, compared to 415 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 33 was 7.74 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 6.75 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 11.46 per 100,000 population.

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

Alicia Demirjian, Incident Director for COVID-19 at Public Health England, said:
"Cases of COVID-19 are still high, especially among young people. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please do not go out – stay at home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.

"If you are heading to a festival or other event this bank holiday weekend, to protect your friends and others we encourage you to take a free rapid test before you leave to check that you do not have the virus. People who have COVID-19 may transmit it to others, even if they do not feel unwell, and should stay at home. Please remember to wear a mask in enclosed spaces, such as on a train or bus when travelling. When at the festival, try and stay outside or in well-ventilated areas and spread out from other groups.

"With many children heading back to school next week, we encourage students to take twice-weekly rapid tests, to make sure we can keep COVID-19 low in schools and ensure children can get back to the classroom as safely as possible. We will closely be monitoring how the start of term impacts the number of new infections and review recommendations accordingly."

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) positivity remained stable, changing from 13.9% in week 32 to 14.2% in week 33.

The highest positivity was noted in children under 5 years old, which remained stable at 26.8%.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at PHE, said:
"RSV is a common winter virus that causes mild cold-like symptoms for most children. However, children under 2 can be at greater risk of severe illness, especially those born prematurely, with a heart condition or who have a chronic lung disease.

"We have recently seen higher rates of RSV than we would usually see. People didn’t build up natural immunity last winter because of COVID-19 restrictions and as they mix now, it is more likely to spread.

"The best way to protect yourself and others from common seasonal illnesses is to carry on with good hygiene habits that we’ve become used to during the pandemic. This means washing your hands regularly, using a tissue to catch coughs or sneezes and washing your hands afterwards, and staying away from others if you feel unwell."