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National flu and COVID-19 surveillance reports published

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

Latest update

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 4

Coronavirus (COVID-19) activity shows a mixed picture – with some indicators, most notably hospitalisations and Pillar 2 positivity suggesting a modest increase in activity.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 4 was 6.61 per 100,000 population, a small increase from 5.94 per 100,000 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the South East, with a rate of 8.67 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

It’s concerning that the recent downward trend in COVID-19 hospitalisations has started to show signs of a reverse this week. Older people are still at the highest risk of being hospitalised for COVID-19, so it’s vital those eligible get their autumn/winter booster jab – come forward before Sunday 12 February when the offer comes to an end. It will top up your immunity and keep you protected.

Two variants, CH.1.1 and XBB.1.5, have a growth advantage in the UK and we can expect further increases in transmission and hospitalisations in future weeks.

There are simple actions we can all take to prevent viruses spreading. Washing your hands regularly, catching coughs and sneezes in tissues and if possible letting fresh air into rooms and spaces will all help. If you or your child is unwell please don’t visit vulnerable people, and try to stay at home. If you do have to go out when you’re unwell, consider wearing a face covering which can help prevent you passing viruses on.

Flu surveillance up until end of week 4

Swab positivity for flu* has decreased to 2.7% in week 4, compared to 3.0% in week 3. The highest positivity is seen in those aged 15 to 44 years at 5.8%, an increase from 4.6% in week 3.

Hospital admission rates decreased in the last week and are at low activity levels. ICU/HDU hospital admission rates have also decreased, and are within baseline range of activity levels**.

Flu vaccine uptake is comparable to the previous 2021 to 2022 season in a number of cohorts, with 79.4% of those aged 65 years and over having received their flu vaccine, exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) target.

For pregnant women, vaccine uptake is 34.6%, and for those aged under 65 years in a clinical risk group, it is 48.4%.

Vaccine uptake in those aged 2 and 3 years (41.6% and 44.3% respectively) is below that seen in the previous 2 seasons, but broadly comparable to the 2018 to 2019 pre-pandemic season.

Rates of in-person contact (meeting with people from outside of the household) for week 4 of 2023 have come back up to rates seen in November to mid-December 2022 (source: UKHSA FluSurvey). UKHSA continues to monitor flu signal as more people return to work and school.

*The percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

**Influenza activity bands are set using an international standard method.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at the UKHSA, said:

The NHS has delivered more than 20 million flu vaccines this winter and this will undoubtedly have spared many thousands from severe illness or hospitalisation and saved countless lives.

While flu levels continue to fall, winter is not over yet and we need to guard against further surges. Vaccine uptake among those aged 2 and 3 years is still well below the past 2 seasons and the number of pregnant women not taking up the offer is also a concern.

Vaccination is our best defence against flu. For pregnant women, it can protect both you and your baby against potentially serious complications, and young children are also vulnerable to serious illness. If you or your children are eligible it’s still not too late to get vaccinated.

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) surveillance up until end of week 4

RSV overall swab positivity* decreased to 2.4%.

The RSV hospitalisation rate increased slightly overall to 1.2 per 100,000.

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

*Amongst people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 3

Laboratory reports of Norovirus were 30% higher than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks remained below pre-pandemic levels during weeks 2 and 3, with reports 56% lower than the 5-season average for the same 2-week period prior to the pandemic.

The majority of outbreaks in weeks 2 and 3 were reported in care home settings.

If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone or visit the NHS norovirus webpage for more information.

Learn more about norovirus in our blog.

Richard Elson, Head of Risk Assessment and Response, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety (One Health) Division at the UKHSA, said:

Laboratory reports of norovirus are almost a third higher than we would typically see at this time of year, with cases highest in those aged over 65 years. Outbreaks in care homes have also been increasing. It is incredibly important at this time not to visit places with vulnerable people such as hospitals or care homes if you have norovirus symptoms.

One of the best ways to protect yourself against norovirus is by practising good hand hygiene. This includes thorough hand washing with soap and warm water regularly but especially after using the toilet or an episode of illness and before eating or preparing food. Most people will make a full recovery within 2 to 3 days but it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, especially in the very young, elderly or those with weakened immune systems.

If you or your child does catch norovirus, you should not go to work (especially if you work with food or vulnerable people), or send your sick children back to school and don’t visit hospitals or care homes until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. Make sure to wash hands and disinfect all surfaces after any episode of illness. Taking these steps will help you stop passing the virus on.

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Thursday 26 January 2023

Flu surveillance up until end of week 3

Swab positivity for flu* has decreased to 2.8% in week 3, compared to 6.5% in week 2. The highest positivity is seen in those aged 5 to 14 years and in those aged 15 to 44 years at 4.5%.

Hospital admission rates decreased in the last week and are at low activity levels. Intensive care units (ICU) and high dependency units (HDU) hospital admission rates have also decreased, and approached the baseline range of activity levels**.

Hospital admission rates have decreased across all ages, most notably in adults aged 85 and over (down to 4.9 this week from 26.3 per 100,000 the previous week) and in those aged 75 to 84 years (down to 4.2 this week from 8.5 per 100,000 the previous week). Hospitalisations among children under the age of 5 years are currently the highest among age groups but have decreased (5.4 per 100,000 down from 6.0 last week).

Flu vaccine uptake is comparable to the previous 2021 to 2022 season in a number of cohorts, with 79.2% of those aged 65 years and over having received their flu vaccine, exceeding the World Health Organization target.

For pregnant women, vaccine uptake is 34.3%, and for those under 65 years in a clinical risk group, it is 48.1%.

Vaccine uptake in those aged 2 years and 3 years (41.3% and 43.9% respectively) is below that seen in the previous 2 seasons, but broadly comparable to the 2018 to 2019 pre-pandemic season.

Rates of in-person contact (meeting with people from outside of the household) for week 3 of 2023 have come back up to rates seen in November to mid-December 2022 (source: UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) FluSurvey). UKHSA continues to monitor flu signal as more people return to work and school.

*The percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

**Influenza activity bands are set using an international standard method.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 3

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, coronavirus (COVID-19) activity decreased in most indicators in week 3 of 2023.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 3 was 5.97 per 100,000 population, a small decrease from 6.59 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the North East, with a rate of 8.28 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, said:

Flu and COVID-19 levels continue to fall but winter is not over yet and we need to guard against further surges. Vaccination is our best defence against flu and COVID-19. Hospital admissions for flu are still highest in the under 5s so if your children are eligible, it’s still not too late to get them vaccinated. Older people are still at the highest risk of being hospitalised for COVID-19, so it’s vital those eligible get their booster jab.

Now is the time to come forward for a COVID-19 booster if you haven’t already – whether it’s your first or if you’re eligible for an autumn booster. Come forward before Sunday 12 February, when the offer comes to an end. It will top up your immunity and keep you and your loved ones protected.

There are simple actions we can all take to prevent viruses spreading. Washing your hands regularly, catching coughs and sneezes in tissues and if possible letting fresh air into rooms and spaces will all help. If you or your child is unwell please don’t visit vulnerable people and try to stay at home. If you do have to go out when you’re unwell, consider wearing a face covering which can help prevent you passing viruses on.

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) surveillance up until end of week 3

RSV overall swab positivity* decreased to 3.3%.

The RSV hospitalisation rate decreased overall to 1.0 per 100,000. Learn more about RSV in our blog article.

*Among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 2

Laboratory reports of norovirus were 34% higher than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks remained below pre-pandemic levels during weeks 52 and 1, with reports 58% lower than the 5-season average for the same 2-week period prior to the pandemic.

The majority of outbreaks in weeks 52 and 1 were reported in care home settings.

If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone or visit the norovirus webpage on NHS.UK for more information. Learn more about norovirus in our blog article.

Dr Lesley Larkin, Surveillance Lead, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety (One Health) Division at UKHSA, said:

Laboratory reports of norovirus are increasing and in recent weeks were more than a third higher than we would typically see at this time of year. Cases have increased most notably in those aged 65 and over, although we haven’t seen an increase in the number of outbreaks in care homes.

One of the best ways to protect yourself against norovirus is by practising good hand hygiene. This includes thorough hand washing with soap and warm water regularly but especially after using the toilet or an episode of illness and before eating or preparing food. Most people will make a full recovery within 1 to 2 days but it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, especially in the very young, elderly or those with weakened immune systems.

If you or your child does catch norovirus, do not go to work (especially if you work with food or vulnerable people), send your sick children back to school and don’t visit hospitals or care homes until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. Make sure to wash hands and disinfect all surfaces after any episode of illness. Taking these steps will help you stop passing the virus on.

Thursday 19 January 2023

Flu surveillance up until end of week 2

Swab positivity for flu* has decreased to 6.0% in week 2, compared to 12.2% in week 1. The highest positivity is seen in 0 to 4 year olds at 8.9%.

Hospital admission rates decreased in the last week and are at medium activity levels, approaching the low activity threshold. ICU/HDU hospital admission rates have also decreased, with activity levels returning back to the low activity range**.

Hospital admission rates have decreased across all ages, most notably in adults aged 85 and over (down to 24.7 this week from 45.2 per 100,000 the previous week) and those aged 75 to 84 (down to 8.0 this week from 24.1 per 100,000 the previous week). Hospitalisations among children under the age of 5 remain fairly high but have decreased (5.7 per 100,000 down from 14.3 last week).

Flu vaccine uptake is comparable to the previous 2021 to 2022 season in a number of cohorts, with 79.1% of 65 year olds and over having received their flu vaccine, exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) target.

For pregnant women, vaccine uptake is 34.1%, and for those under 65 years in a clinical risk group, it is 47.8%.

Vaccine uptake in 2 and 3 year olds (41.0% and 43.5% respectively) is below that seen in the previous 2 seasons, but broadly comparable to the 2018 to 2019 pre-pandemic season.

Rates of in-person contact (meeting with people from outside of the household) for week 2 of 2023 have come back up to rates seen in November to mid-December 2022 (source: UKHSA FluSurvey). The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) continues to monitor flu signal as more people return to work and school.

*The percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

***Influenza activity bands are set using an international standard method.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 2

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, coronavirus (COVID-19) activity has decreased in most indicators in week 2 of 2023.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 2 was 6.69 per 100,000 population, a small decrease from 8.94 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the North East, with a rate of 8.83 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at UKHSA, said:

The good news is that overall flu and COVID-19 levels have continued to fall in the past week. However, winter isn’t over yet and we need to guard against further surges.  Vaccination is our best defence against flu and COVID-19, so if your children are eligible for the flu vaccine, it’s still not too late to come forward. Hospital admissions for COVID-19 remain highest in the oldest age groups, so it’s vital that those eligible continue to come forward for their booster jab.

The pandemic has disrupted the usual seasonal timings of many infections, so we could see flu activity outside the usual winter period - another reason to take up the vaccines now.

There are simple actions we can all take to prevent viruses spreading. Washing your hands regularly, catching coughs and sneezes in tissues and if possible letting fresh air into rooms and spaces will all help. If you or your child is unwell please don’t visit vulnerable people and try to stay at home. If you do have to go out when you’re unwell, consider wearing a face covering can also help prevent you passing viruses on.

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) surveillance up until end of week 2

RSV overall swab positivity* decreased to 4.0%.

The RSV hospitalisation rate decreased overall to 1.44 per 100,000.

Emergency department attendances for acute bronchiolitis decreased nationally.

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

*Amongst people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 1

Laboratory reports of norovirus were 34% higher than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks remained below pre-pandemic levels during weeks 52 and 1, with reports 58% lower than the 5-season average for the same 2-week period prior to the pandemic.

The majority of outbreaks in weeks 52 and 1 were reported in care home settings.

If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone or visit the NHS norovirus webpage for more information.

Learn more about norovirus in our blog.

Dr Lesley Larkin, Surveillance Lead, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety (One Health) Division at UKHSA, said:

Laboratory reports of norovirus have increased in recent weeks and are about a third higher than we would typically see at this time of year. Cases have increased most notably in those aged 65 and over, although we haven’t seen an increase in the number of outbreaks in care homes.

One of the best ways to protect yourself against norovirus is by practising good hand hygiene. This includes thorough hand washing with soap and warm water regularly but especially after using the toilet or an episode of illness and before eating or preparing food. Most people will make a full recovery within 1 to 2 days but it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, especially in the very young, elderly or those with weakened immune systems.

If you do catch norovirus, do not go to work (especially if you work with food or vulnerable people), send children back to school or visit hospitals or care homes until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. Make sure to wash hands and disinfect all surfaces after any episode of illness. Taking these steps will help you stop passing the virus on.

Thursday 12 January 2023

Flu surveillance up until end of week 1

Swab positivity for flu* has decreased to 12.2% in week 1, compared to 25.2% in week 52. The highest positivity is seen in 5 to 14-year-olds at 17.0%.

Hospital admission rates and intensive care admission rates have decreased in the last week. Hospital admission rates have decreased and intensive care activity decreased this week but remained at medium activity levels**.

Admission rates have decreased in adults aged 85 and over (down to 46.5 this week from 70.9 per 100,000 the previous week) and those aged 75 to 84 (down to 23.7 this week from 40.0 per 100,000 the previous week). Hospitalisations among children under the age of 5 also remain high but have decreased (14.0 per 100,000 down from 21.6 last week).

Flu vaccine uptake is comparable to the previous 2021 to 2022 season in a number of cohorts, with 78.7% of 65-year-olds and over having received their flu vaccine, exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) target.

For pregnant women, vaccine uptake is 33.6%, and for those under 65 years in a clinical risk group, it is 46.7%.

Vaccine uptake in 2 and 3-year-olds (40.4% and 42.9% respectively) is below that seen in the previous 2 seasons, but broadly comparable to the 2018 to 2019 pre-pandemic season.

Rates of in-person contact (meeting with people from outside of the household) for week 1 of 2023 were comparable to those of week 52 2022, and have not returned to the levels seen in November to mid-December (source: UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) FluSurvey). UKHSA continues to monitor flu signal as more people return to work and school.

*The percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

**Influenza activity bands are set using an international standard method.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

Delivering more than 20 million flu vaccines is an important milestone and this will undoubtedly have spared many thousands from severe illness or hospitalisation and saved countless lives.

Flu continues to be a serious health threat this winter. If you or your children are eligible it’s still not too late to get vaccinated, to protect yourselves and those around you – and help reduce NHS pressures.

Flu vaccination gives vital protection, but there are other simple actions we can all take to prevent viruses spreading. Washing your hands regularly, catching coughs and sneezes in tissues and if possible letting fresh air into rooms and spaces will all help. If you are unwell please don’t visit vulnerable people and try to stay at home. If you do have to go out when you’re unwell, wearing a face covering can also help prevent you passing viruses on.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 1

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, COVID-19 activity has decreased in most indicators in week 1 of 2023 compared to week 52 of 2022.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 1 was 9.08 per 100,000 population, a small decrease from 10.76 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the North East, with a rate of 13.18 per 100,000 population.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, Consultant Epidemiologist for Immunisation and Countermeasures at UKHSA, said:

These early signs that COVID-19 infection levels may be in decline are encouraging and welcome, but we cannot be complacent. Today’s data shows we’re heading in the right direction but COVID-19 is still circulating at high levels and hospital admissions remain high in the oldest age groups (117.3 in those 85s and over), so it is particularly important that everyone who is eligible continues to come forward to accept their booster jab.

While COVID-19 is a mild illness for many, we must not forget that it can cause severe illness or even death for those most vulnerable in our communities. COVID-19 is still circulating at high levels, so do take up your vaccine if you are offered it.

Following some simple steps can help keep us safe from different winter illnesses in circulation. If you are unwell this winter, please try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, particularly elderly or vulnerable people  – this will help stop infection from spreading. If you are unwell but have to go out, please consider wearing a face covering and practise good hand hygiene to limit spread.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) surveillance up until end of week 1

RSV overall swab positivity* decreased to 5.1% with positivity in under 5-year-olds  at 13.2%. Decreases in positivity were seen in most age groups.

The RSV hospitalisation rate decreased overall, including in the under 5 years age groups.

Emergency department attendances for acute bronchiolitis decreased nationally.

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

*Among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 52

Laboratory reports of norovirus were 10% higher than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks remained below pre-pandemic levels during weeks 51 and 52, with reports 59% lower than the 5-season average for the same 2-week period prior to the pandemic.

While overall EV outbreaks remain lower across all settings than during the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19, the majority of outbreaks in weeks 51 and 52 were reported in care home settings.

If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone or visit the NHS norovirus webpage for more information.

Learn more about norovirus in our blog.

Richard Elson, Head of Risk and Response, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety (One Health) Division at UKHSA, said:

Laboratory reports of norovirus at the end of 2022 were higher than we would expect to see at that time of year. One of the best ways to protect yourself against norovirus is by practising good hand hygiene. This includes thorough hand washing with soap and warm water regularly but especially after using the toilet or an episode of illness and before eating or preparing food. Most people will make a full recovery within 1 to 2 days but it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, especially in the very young, elderly or those with weakened immune systems.

If you do catch norovirus, do not go to work (especially if you work with food or vulnerable people), send children back to school or visit hospitals or care homes until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. Make sure to wash hands and disinfect all surfaces after any episode of illness. Taking these steps will help you stop passing the virus on.

Thursday 5 January 2023

Flu surveillance up until end of week 52

Due to reporting delays and bank holidays over Christmas and New Year, findings should be interpreted with caution.

Swab positivity for flu* has decreased in week 52 compared to week 51 and is now at 23.6%; it is highest in 15 to 44-year-olds at 31.0%. However, the figure for week 52 remains higher than week 50.

Hospital admission rates and intensive care admission rates increased further in recent weeks. Hospital admissions increased in week 51 to very high activity levels. The rate in week 52 was in the medium activity range. Intensive care activity increased in week 51 before decreasing slightly in week 52 remaining within medium activity levels**.

Admission rates have increased in adults aged 85 and over (61.8 in week 52 and 66.2 per 100,000 in week 51 compared with 46.9 in week 50) and those aged 75 to 84 (31.8 in week 52 and 49.9 per 100,000 in week 51 from 24.8 in week 50). Hospitalisations among children under the age of 5 also remain high (14.4 per 100,000 down from 38.4 and 24.4 in the last 2 weeks).

Flu vaccine uptake is comparable to the previous 2021 to 2022 season in a number of cohorts, with 78.4% of 65-year-olds and over having received their flu vaccine, exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) target.

For pregnant women, vaccine uptake is 33.2%, and for those under 65 years in a clinical risk group, it is 46.3%.

Vaccine uptake in 2 and 3-year-olds (39.9% and 42.3% respectively) is below that seen in the previous 2 seasons, but broadly comparable to the 2018 to 2019 pre-pandemic season.

*The percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

**Influenza activity bands are set using an international standard method.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 52

Due to reporting delays and bank holidays over Christmas and New Year findings should be interpreted with caution. 

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, coronavirus (COVID-19) activity has decreased across all indicators in week 52 of 2022 compared to week 51.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 52 was 10.71 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 11.79 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the South East, with a rate of 14.29 per 100,000 population.

The COVID-19 autumn booster vaccination campaign commenced in early September. By the end of week 52, 64.1% of all people aged over 50 years old had been vaccinated with an autumn booster dose

Dame Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

In the week leading up to Christmas, we saw a dramatic increase in the number of people admitted to hospital with flu, with the highest levels of hospital admissions we’ve seen in at least a decade. Admissions were particularly high in the under 5s and those 65 and over.

I urge all those eligible to come forward for their free flu vaccination, which is the best way to protect yourself from serious illness. Uptake of the flu vaccine is particularly low in children aged  2 and 3 so if your child is eligible please urgently take up the offer. 

COVID-19 also continues to circulate at high levels and anyone eligible for a booster who has yet to take it up should come forward.

Frequent handwashing with soap and warm water, catching coughs and sneezes in tissues and keeping your home well ventilated can also help stop viruses from spreading.

Try to stay home when unwell and if you do have to go out, wearing a face covering can help prevent germs spreading to other people. Don’t visit vulnerable people if you’re unwell.

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) surveillance up until end of week 52

RSV overall swab positivity* decreased to 5.9% with positivity in under 5-year-olds at 13.5%. Decreases in positivity were seen in all age groups.

RSV admissions for the under 5s have also dropped but remain high. Hospital emergency departments continue to see many infants for bronchiolitis caused by RSV infection.

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

*Among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

RSV can be most severe for children under 2 – and particularly nasty for babies and those born prematurely. Please carry on with good hygiene habits to protect yourself and others from common seasonal illnesses. 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.

If you are concerned your child has cold symptoms with unusual breathing or has trouble feeding, please contact your GP or NHS 111. If your child seems seriously ill, trust your judgement and get emergency care.

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 51

Laboratory reports of norovirus have remained lower than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019) and were 16% lower in weeks 50 and 51).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks also remained below pre-pandemic levels during weeks 50 and 51, with reports 61% lower than the 5-season average for the same 2-week period prior to the pandemic.

While overall EV outbreaks remain lower across all settings than during the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19, the majority of outbreaks in weeks 50 and 51 were reported in care home settings.

If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone or visit the NHS norovirus webpage for more information

Learn more about norovirus in our blog.

Richard Elson, Head of Risk and Response, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety (One Health) Division at UKHSA, said:

Cases of norovirus are lower than in previous years, however, it is still important to protect yourself against the virus and prevent it from spreading. One of the best ways to protect against norovirus is by practising good hand hygiene. This includes thorough hand washing with soap and warm water regularly but especially after using the toilet or an episode of illness and before eating or preparing food.

Most people will make a full recovery within 1 to 2 days but it is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, especially in the very young, elderly or those with weakened immune systems.

If you do catch norovirus, do not go to work (especially if you work with food or vulnerable people), send children back to school or visit hospitals or care homes until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. This will help you stop passing the virus on.

Thursday 22 December 2022

Flu surveillance up until end of week 50

Swab positivity for flu* has increased further and is now at 26.4%; it remains highest in 5 to 14-year-olds at 40.1%.

Hospital admission rates and intensive care admission rates have increased further in the last week. Hospital admissions have continued to increase sharply within the medium band and intensive care activity remains at medium activity levels**.

Admission rates have increased significantly in adults aged 85 and over (up to 42.04 this week from 25.40 per 100,000 the previous week) and those aged 75 to 84 (up to 19.00 this week from 11.81 per 100,000 the previous week). Hospitalisations among children under the age of 5 also remain high (19.42 per 100,000, down from 21.16 last week).

Flu vaccine uptake is comparable to the previous 2021 to 2022 season in a number of cohorts, with more than 77.9% of 65-year-olds and over having received their flu vaccine, exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) target.

For pregnant women, vaccine uptake is 32.4%, and for those under 65 years in a clinical risk group, it is 45.5%.

Vaccine uptake in 2 and 3-year-olds (38.8% and 40.9% respectively) is below that seen in the previous 2 seasons, but broadly comparable to the 2018 to 2019 pre-pandemic season.

*The percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

**Influenza activity bands are set using an international standard method.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

Hospitalisations have increased dramatically in those aged 75 and over in the past week, with admissions among children under 5 remaining high. ICU admissions have also increased this week.

NHS services are already under pressure so it’s more important than ever to get protected with the flu vaccine and help keep yourself out of hospital.

Most children aged 2 and 3 can get a nasal spray flu vaccine through their GP surgery. If you are pregnant or in a clinical risk group, you are also at greater risk, so it is even more important you take up the offer. Anyone over 50 can get a free flu or COVID-19 booster vaccine which can be booked online.

We can all take actions to stop flu and other infections spreading, if you feel unwell try to stay home, and if you have to go out – wear a face covering in enclosed spaces. Wash your hands regularly and try to keep rooms well ventilated.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 50

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, COVID-19 activity has increased across all indicators in week 50 of 2022.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 50 was 9.56 per 100,000 population, an increase from 6.61 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the South West, with a rate of 15.21 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at UKHSA, said:

We are seeing a rise in cases and hospital admissions for both flu and COVID-19 as people continue to mix indoors this winter. Hospitalisation rates due to COVID-19 remain highest in those aged 65 and over, so it is vital that everyone who is eligible continues to come forward to accept their booster jab before the end of the year.

Both COVID-19 and flu can cause severe illness or even death for those most vulnerable in our communities, and so it is also important to avoid contact with other people if you are unwell in order to help stop infections spreading over the Christmas and new year period.

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) surveillance up until end of week 50

RSV overall swab positivity* decreased to 6.5% in, with positivity in those aged under 5 at 15.9%.

RSV admissions for the under 5s have also dropped but remain high. Hospital emergency departments continue to see many infants for bronchiolitis caused by RSV infection.

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

*Among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

RSV can be more severe for children under 2 – and sometimes particularly nasty for babies and those born prematurely. In the run up to Christmas, when the weather is getting colder, everyone should try and avoid spreading respiratory viruses to young children – use tissues, wash hands and avoid visiting babies if you are unwell.

If you are concerned your child has cold symptoms with unusual breathing or has trouble feeding, please contact your GP or NHS 111. If your child seems seriously ill, trust your judgement and get emergency care.

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 49

Laboratory reports of norovirus have remained lower than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019) and were 9% lower in weeks 48 and 49.

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks also remained below pre-pandemic levels during weeks 48 and 49, with reports 59% lower than the 5-season average for the same 2-week period prior to the pandemic.

Overall EV outbreaks across all settings remain lower than during the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19.

If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone or visit the NHS norovirus webpage for more information

Learn more about norovirus in our blog.

Dr Lesley Larkin, Surveillance Lead, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety (One Health) Division at UKHSA, said:

Norovirus is passed on by close contact with people with the infection, eating food contaminated with the virus or by touching surfaces where the virus has landed. Alcohol gels do not kill norovirus, so help stop the spread by washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet and before preparing food. Make sure to wash hands and disinfect all surfaces after any episode of illness.

If you do catch norovirus, do not return to work (especially if you work with food or vulnerable people), send children back to school or visit hospitals or care homes until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. This will help you stop passing the virus on.

Thursday 15 December 2022

Flu surveillance up until end of week 49

Swab positivity for flu* has increased further and is now at 20.2%; it remains highest in 5 to 14-year-olds at 32.9%.

Hospital admission rates and intensive care admission rates have increased further in the last week. Hospital admissions have increased within the medium band and intensive care activity is now at medium activity levels**.

Admission rates have more than doubled in adults aged 85 and over (up to 23.11 this week from 10.70 per 100,000 the previous week) and children under the age of 5 (up to 20.70 this week from 8.41 per 100,000 the previous week).

Flu vaccine uptake is comparable to the previous 2021 to 2022 season in a number of cohorts, with more than 77% of 65-year-olds and over having received their flu vaccine, exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) target.

For pregnant women, vaccine uptake is 31.5%, and for those under 65 years in a clinical risk group, it is 44.4%.

Vaccine uptake in 2 and 3-year-olds (37.4% and 39.5% respectively) is below that seen in the previous 2 seasons, but broadly comparable to the 2018 to 2019 pre-pandemic season.

*The percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

**Influenza activity bands are set using an international standard method.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: 

Flu is now circulating widely and we have seen a sharp rise in the rate of hospitalisations for flu this week, particularly among the under 5s and over 85s.

Admissions are now at the highest point since the 2017 to 2018 season and we are expecting case numbers to continue increasing as we move further into winter.

The flu vaccine offers the best protection against severe illness and it’s not too late for everyone eligible to get it. Uptake is particularly low in those aged 2 and 3 so if your child is eligible please take up the offer.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 49

COVID-19 activity showed a mixed picture in week 49 – with some surveillance indicators, most notably hospitalisations and care home outbreaks, suggesting a modest increase in activity.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 49 was 6.61 per 100,000 population, a small increase from 5.36 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the South West, with a rate of 9.68 per 100,000 population.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, Consultant Epidemiologist for Immunisation and Countermeasures at UKHSA said:

We’re seeing rises in flu, COVID-19 and other winter viruses as people mix more indoors this winter. COVID-19 hospitalisations are highest in the oldest age groups, so it is particularly important that everyone who is eligible continues to come forward to accept their booster jab.

While COVID-19 and flu can be mild infections for many, we must not forget that they can cause severe illness or even death for those most vulnerable in our communities.

If you are unwell this winter, please try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, particularly elderly or vulnerable people  – this will help stop infection from spreading.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) surveillance up until end of week 49

RSV overall swab positivity* decreased to 7.7% in week 49, with positivity in under 5-year-olds decreasing but remaining high at 20%.

RSV admissions for the under 5s have also dropped but remain high. Hospital emergency departments continue to see many infants for bronchiolitis caused by RSV infection.

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

*among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

RSV can be more severe for children under 2 – and sometimes particularly nasty for babies and those born prematurely. In the run up to Christmas, when the weather is getting colder, everyone should try and avoid spreading respiratory viruses to young children – use tissues, wash hands and avoid visiting babies if you are unwell.

If you are concerned your child has cold symptoms with unusual breathing or has trouble feeding, please contact your GP or NHS 111. If your child seems seriously ill, trust your judgement and get emergency care.

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 48

Laboratory reports of norovirus have remained lower than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019) in recent weeks and were (15% lower in weeks 47 and 48).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks also remained below pre-pandemic levels during weeks 47 and 48 with reports 61% lower than the 5-season average for the same 2-week period prior to the pandemic.

Overall EV outbreaks across all settings remain lower than during the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19.

If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone or visit the NHS norovirus webpage for more information.

Learn more about norovirus in our blog.

Dr Lesley Larkin, Surveillance Lead, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety (One Health) Division at UKHSA, said:

Norovirus is passed on by close contact with people with the infection, eating food contaminated with the virus or by touching surfaces where the virus has landed. Alcohol gels do not kill norovirus, so help stop the spread by washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet and before preparing food. Make sure to wash hands and disinfect all surfaces after any episode of illness.

If you do catch norovirus, do not return to work (especially if you work with food or vulnerable people), send children back to school or visit hospitals or care homes until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. This will help you stop passing the virus on.

Thursday 8 December 2022

Flu surveillance up until end of week 48

Swab positivity for flu* has increased further and is now at 14.3%; it remains highest in 15 to 44-year-olds at 24.3%.

Hospital admission rates and intensive care admission rates have increased further in the last week, admissions are now at medium activity levels and intensive care activity has increased within the medium band**.

The highest rates of admission are being seen in children under the age of 5 (6.57 per 100,000) and adults aged 75 to 84 years old (9.3 per 100,000).

Flu vaccine uptake is comparable to the previous 2021 to 2022 season in a number of cohorts, with more than 75% of over 65-year-olds having received their flu vaccine, exceeding the World Health Organization (WHO) target.

For pregnant women, vaccine uptake is 30.5 per cent, just under 3 percentage points lower than this time last season, and around 4 percentage points lower than 2 seasons ago.

Vaccine uptake in 2 and 3-year-olds is below that seen in the previous 2 seasons (by 8 percentage points compared to last season, and a little over 14 percentage points in comparison to the season before last (2020 to 2021), but broadly comparable to the 2018 to 2019 pre-pandemic season.

*The percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

**Influenza activity bands are set using an international standard method.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: 

With winter now upon us, we are seeing flu circulating more widely. The NHS frontline has already delivered millions of vaccines to those most at risk from what can be a deadly virus. With Christmas fast approaching, if you are eligible and have not yet been vaccinated, it can take a fortnight or so for the flu vaccine to provide protection.

Nobody wants to see their loved ones be sick or in hospital with flu over Christmas, so to ensure your family are ready to enjoy the festive season together don’t hesitate and book your vaccine today.

Background

Parents of children in eligible school years should make sure their kids take up the offer of flu nasal spray vaccine at the school session or in community catch-up clinics.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 48

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, COVID-19 activity has decreased in some indicators but was stable or increased slightly in others in week 48 of 2022.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 48 was 5.45 per 100,000 population, a small increase from 4.51 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the North East, with a rate of 7.56 per 100,000 population.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, Consultant Epidemiologist for Immunisation and Countermeasures at UKHSA, said:

During the winter, we would expect to see a rise in COVID-19 activity and other winter viruses as people are mixing more indoors again. COVID-19 hospitalisations are highest in the oldest age groups, so it is particularly important that everyone who is eligible continues to come forward to accept their booster jab.

While COVID-19 and flu can be mild infections for many, we must not forget that they can cause severe illness or even death for those most vulnerable in our communities.

If you are unwell this winter, please try to stay at home and avoid contact with vulnerable people – this will help stop infection from spreading.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) surveillance up until end of week 48

RSV overall swab positivity* decreased to 9.3% in week 48, with positivity in under 5-year-olds remaining high but decreasing to 26.8%. 

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

*among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

Unfortunately, in the run up to the festive season, it is also the season for viruses like RSV, which can be more severe for children under 2 – and sometimes particularly nasty for babies and those born prematurely. Everyone should try and avoid spreading respiratory viruses to young children – use tissues, wash hands and avoid visiting babies if you are unwell.

If you are concerned your child has cold symptoms with unusual breathing or has trouble feeding, please contact your GP or NHS 111. If your child seems seriously ill, trust your judgement and get emergency care.

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 47

Laboratory reports of norovirus have remained lower than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019) in recent weeks and were 26% lower in weeks 46 and 47.

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks also remained below pre-pandemic levels during weeks 46 and 47 with reports 55% lower than the 5-season average for the same 2-week period prior to the pandemic.

Overall EV outbreaks across all settings remain lower than during the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19.

If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone or visit the NHS norovirus webpage for more information.

Learn more about norovirus in our blog.

Dr Lesley Larkin, Surveillance Lead, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety (One Health) Division at UKHSA, said:

Norovirus is passed on by close contact with people with the infection, eating food contaminated with the virus or by touching surfaces where the virus has landed. Alcohol gels do not kill norovirus, so help stop the spread by washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet and before preparing food. Make sure to wash hands and disinfect all surfaces after any episode of illness.

If you do catch norovirus, do not return to work (especially if you work with food or vulnerable people), send children back to school or visit hospitals or care homes until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. This will help you stop passing the virus on.

Thursday 1 December 2022

Flu surveillance up until end of week 47

Swab positivity for flu* has increased further and is now at 10.5%; it remains highest in 5 to 14-year-olds at 18.5%.

Hospital admission rates and intensive care admission rates have increased further in the last week, admissions are now at medium activity levels and intensive care activity has increased within the medium band**.

The highest rates of admission are being seen in children under the age of 5 (6.88 per 100,000) and adults aged 85 and over (6.94 per 100,000).

Flu vaccine uptake is comparable to the previous 2021 to 2022 season in a number of cohorts, with more than 75% of over 65-year-olds having received their flu vaccine, exceeding the World Health Organization target.

For pregnant women, vaccine uptake is 29.3%, just over 5 percentage points lower than this time last season, and around 3 percentage points lower than 2 seasons ago.

Vaccine uptake in 2 and 3-year-olds is below that seen in the previous 2 seasons. It is just over 9.5 percentage points lower than last season and a little over 14 percentage points lower than 2020 to 2021, but broadly comparable to the 2018 to 2019 pre-pandemic season.

*The percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

**Influenza activity bands are set using an international standard method.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: 

Flu vaccine uptake among pregnant women and young children is low for this time of year. This is concerning given the expected reduced levels of natural immunity across the population following 2 winters with little flu.

Getting the vaccine when you are pregnant can protect you and your baby against potentially serious complications.

It can take a couple of weeks to build up full immunity after the vaccine so it is important to book yours as soon as possible to get protected in time for the festive season.

Background

Parents of children in eligible school years should make sure their kids take up the offer of flu nasal spray vaccine at the school session or in community catch-up clinics.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 47

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, COVID-19 activity has decreased in most indicators in week 47 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in care homes due to COVID-19 increased in England in week 47 to 83 compared to 49 in the previous week.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 47 was 4.69 per 100,000 population, a small increase from 4.45 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the East Midlands, with a rate of 6.07 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at UKHSA, said:

As we head into the coldest part of the year, we would expect to see the prevalence of COVID-19 and other winter viruses begin to increase as people mix more indoors. This is what the data is beginning to show. COVID-19 hospitalisations are highest in the oldest age groups, so it is particularly important that everyone who is eligible comes forward to receive their booster jab.

While COVID-19 and flu can be mild infections for many, we must not forget that they can cause severe illness or even death for those most vulnerable in our communities.

If you are unwell this winter, please try to stay at home and avoid contact with vulnerable people – this will help stop infections spreading.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) surveillance up until end of week 47

RSV overall swab positivity* increased to 12.7% in week 47, with the highest positivity in under 5-year-olds remaining elevated at 34.4%. 

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

*among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

Over recent weeks RSV rates have been rising across all age groups, most notably in the under 5s. RSV is unfortunately common at this time of the year and can be severe for children under 2 – particularly for babies and those born prematurely. Everyone should try and avoid spreading respiratory viruses to young children – use tissues, wash hands and avoid visiting babies if you are unwell.

If you are worried your child has cold symptoms with unusual breathing or trouble feeding, please contact your GP or NHS 111. If your child seems seriously ill, trust your judgement and get emergency care.

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 46

Laboratory reports of norovirus have remained stable in recent weeks and were 32% lower in weeks 45 and 46 than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks remained below pre-pandemic levels during weeks 45 and 46 with reports 63% lower than the 5-season average for the same 2-week period prior to the pandemic.

Overall EV outbreaks in care homes and hospitals remain notably lower than during the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19.

If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone or visit the NHS norovirus webpage for more information.

Learn more about norovirus in our blog.

Lesley Larkin, Surveillance Lead, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety at UKHSA, said:

Norovirus is passed on by close contact with people with the infection, eating food contaminated with the virus or by touching surfaces where the virus has landed. Remember that alcohol gels do not kill norovirus so help stop the spread by washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet and before preparing food. Disinfecting all surfaces after any episode of illness.

If you do catch norovirus, do not return to work (especially if you work with food or vulnerable people), send children back to school or visit hospitals or care homes until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. This will help you stop passing the virus on.

Thursday 24 November 2022

Flu surveillance up until end of week 46

Swab positivity for flu* has increased slightly and is now at 8.2%; it is highest in 5 to 14-year-olds at 18%, followed by 15 to 44-year-olds at 15.8%.

Hospital admission rates and intensive care admission rates have increased notably in the last week, to medium activity levels for intensive care and just below the medium activity threshold for admissions.

Flu vaccine uptake is comparable to the previous 2021 to 2022 season in a number of cohorts, but notably primary school children exceed previous records – with uptake numbers over 21% (receiving the nasal spray vaccine) between 1 September and 31 October. This is up 7% on the previous year and up to 3% higher than the previous record year (2018 to 2019).

More than 7 out of 10 over 65-year-olds have also received their flu vaccine.

*The percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: 

It’s encouraging to see record rates of primary school children getting their nasal spray flu vaccine so far this year with over 21% vaccinated by the end of October. Last week, 5 to 14-year-olds were the age most likely to test positive for flu so it’s still important for parents to ensure their children get the vaccine for the best protection. It will also help stop the spread to other more vulnerable family members, especially grandparents, very young children or those with health conditions. If you’ve missed the school vaccination appointment then there are NHS community clinics available.

It’s also great to see that more than 7 out of 10 over 65-year-olds have had their flu vaccine, ensuring they have the best protection as we head into winter. If you haven’t had your flu or COVID-19 vaccine and are over 50, pregnant or have a long term health condition there is still time, so make sure you book an appointment as soon as you can.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 46

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, COVID-19 activity has decreased in most indicators in week 46 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England in week 46 to 122 compared to 123 in the previous week.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 46 was 4.38 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 5.07 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the South East, with a rate of 5.48 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at UKHSA, said:

The continued decline in COVID-19 cases across the country is reassuring. Declining hospitalisations in over 50s is also a result of so many people having come forward for their booster. We urge those who have not had their booster this autumn to do so as soon as possible. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself, your family and the NHS, particularly as we head into winter.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) surveillance up until end of week 46

RSV overall swab positivity* increased to 11.7% in week 46, with the highest positivity in under 5-year-olds remaining elevated at 33.2%. 

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

*Among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

As is typical for this time of the year, RSV rates continue to rise across all ages, with the highest rates of detection and hospitalisations in under 5s. For children under 2, RSV can be severe – particularly for babies and those born prematurely. Use a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes and always wash your hands afterwards.

Never smoke near a baby and avoid visiting babies if you are ill. If you are worried your child has cold symptoms with any unusual breathing or trouble feeding, please contact your GP or NHS 111. If your child seems seriously ill, trust your judgement and get emergency care.

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 45

Laboratory reports of norovirus have remained stable in recent weeks and were 18% lower in weeks 44 and 45 than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks has increased during weeks 44 and 45 but was still 45% lower than the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19.

Overall, EV outbreaks in care homes and hospitals remain notably lower than during the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19. However, outbreaks in educational settings returned to comparable levels to the 5-season average.

If anyone is concerned about their symptoms they can contact NHS 111, talk to their GP by phone or visit the NHS norovirus webpage for more information.

Learn more about norovirus in our blog.

Richard Elson, Head of Risk Assessment and Response, Gastrointestinal Infections and Food Safety at UKHSA, said:

Norovirus is passed on by close contact with people with the infection, eating food contaminated with the virus or by touching surfaces where the virus has landed. Remember that alcohol gels do not kill norovirus so help stop the spread by washing your hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet and before preparing food. Also disinfect all surfaces after any episode of illness.

If you do catch norovirus, do not return to work (especially if you work with food or vulnerable people),  send children back to school or visit hospitals or care homes until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. This will help you stop passing the virus on.

Thursday 17 November 2022

Flu surveillance up until end of week 45

Swab positivity for flu* has remained stable and is now at 6.9%; it is highest in 5 to 14-year-olds at 12.3%, followed by 15 to 44-year-olds at 10.5%.

Hospitalisation rates remain stable overall but have increased in the under 5s and 75 and over age groups compared with the previous week. Rates are highest in the 85 and over age group at 3.87 admissions per 100,000 people, with the under 5s (2.96 per 100,000) and 75 to 84-year-olds (2.95 per 100,000) close behind. Hospital admission rates and intensive care admission rates remain stable overall at slightly above what would be expected for this time of year (baseline).

Vaccine uptake for flu is comparable to the previous 2021 to 2022 season in a number of cohorts: those aged 65 and over (71.9%), those under 65 years in clinical risk groups (37.2%) and for pregnant women (25.9%). Uptake is lower however in those aged 2 and 3 years old (27.9% and 29.7% respectively).

*the percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:  

Children under 5 continue to be hospitalised with flu this autumn. Children aged 2 and 3 can be protected by an NHS flu vaccine, but the numbers getting what is a straightforward nasal spray vaccine are still low – less than 30%. As we go into winter we expect flu levels to increase. Nobody wants their child to get sick. I strongly urge parents to book with their local GP nurse as soon as possible.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 45

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, COVID-19 activity has decreased in most indicators in week 45 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England in week 45 to 123 compared to 140 in the previous week.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 45 was 5.00 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 5.37 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the South West, with a rate of 6.22 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at UKHSA, said:

The success of the booster vaccine programme so far means that COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations are still declining across the UK. Vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself, your family and the NHS, particularly as we head into winter, so we continue to urge anyone who has not had their booster this autumn to do so as soon as possible.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) surveillance up until end of week 45

RSV overall swab positivity* increased to 9.2% in week 45, with the highest positivity in under 5-year-olds remaining elevated at 27.5%. 

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

*among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

We continue to see RSV cases, as is typical at this time of year, particularly in young children. For children under 2, RSV can be severe – particularly for babies and those born prematurely. Use a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes and wash your hands afterwards to reduce the spread to the most vulnerable.

Never smoke near a baby and avoid visiting babies if you are ill. If you are worried your child has cold symptoms with any unusual breathing or trouble feeding, please contact your GP or NHS 111. If your child seems seriously ill, trust your judgement and get emergency care.

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 44

Laboratory reports of norovirus have decreased in recent weeks and were 10% lower in weeks 43 and 44 than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks have decreased during weeks 43 and 44 and overall remains 56% lower than the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19.

Overall EV outbreaks in care homes and hospitals remain notably lower than during the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19. The overall reduction in reported outbreaks during the 2 week period compared to 5-season average is mostly due to the decrease reported in educational settings during week 43, and coincides with the October half term school holidays.

Learn more about norovirus in our blog.

Dr Lesley Larkin, Head of surveillance, gastrointestinal infections and food safety at UKHSA, said:

Norovirus is passed on by close contact with people with the infection or touching surfaces that the virus has landed on. It is important to wash your hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet and before preparing food. Remember that alcohol gels do not kill norovirus. Disinfecting all surfaces after any episode of illness can help the spread of the virus.

If you do get norovirus, it is easy to become dehydrated, so drink plenty of fluids to prevent this. Those experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting should not return to work or send unwell children to school until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone or visit the NHS norovirus webpage for more information.

Thursday 10 November 2022

Flu surveillance up until end of week 44

Swab positivity for flu* has remained stable and is now at 6.6%; it is highest in 15 to 44-year-olds at 12.4%, followed by 5 to 14-year-olds at 11.2%.

Hospitalisation rates for flu are stable overall but are now slightly exceeding the baseline threshold for the first time this season. There is some week-to-week variability: the over 75s and under 5s remain the highest but have dropped, while rates in the 15 to 44-year-olds have increased. Intensive care admission rates remain above baseline. are highest in those aged 75 to 84 at 1.67 followed by those aged 85 and over at 1.49.

The hospitalisation rates in children aged 0 to 4 are 1.47. Intensive care admission rates remain above baseline.

Vaccine uptake for flu compared to the previous 2021 to 2022 season is comparable for those aged 65-year-olds and over (68%), for those under 65 years in clinical risk groups (33.7%) and for pregnant women (23.5%), but lower in those aged 2 and 3 years old (24% and 25.9% respectively).

*the percentage of people who test positive among those with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

Hospitalisation rates for flu continue to be highest among those aged 75 and over but we are also seeing comparable rates in young children under 5. Older people are typically at higher risk of severe illness but young children can also become very sick so it’s important parents ensure their child gets the nasal spray vaccine by booking an appointment at their local GP.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 44

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, COVID-19 activity has decreased in most indicators in week 44 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England in week 44 to 140 compared to 182 in the previous week.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 44 was 5.41 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 7.71 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the North East, with a rate of 7.38 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at UKHSA, said:

It is hugely encouraging that COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations are still in decline across the UK. This goes to show how effective the vaccine programme continues to be and we thank everyone who has come forward for their latest vaccination so far. However, it is still vital that anyone who has not had their booster this autumn does so as soon as possible. Vaccination is still the best way to protect yourself, your family and the NHS, particularly as we head into winter.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) surveillance up until end of week 44

RSV overall swab positivity* decreased slightly to 7.4% in week 44, with the highest positivity in under 5-year-olds remaining elevated at 29.3% and an increase in 5 to 14-year-olds. 

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

*among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist at UKHSA, said:

For most people, RSV means a common cold, but for children under 2, RSV can be severe – particularly for babies and those born prematurely. Actions like using tissues to catch coughs and sneezes and handwashing afterwards can reduce the spread to the most vulnerable.

Never smoke near a baby and avoid seeing babies if you are ill.  If you are ill, do not visit babies and avoid smoking around your baby. If you are worried your child has cold symptoms with any unusual breathing or difficulty feeding, please contact your GP or NHS 111. If your child seems seriously ill, trust your judgement and get emergency care.

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 43

Laboratory reports of norovirus have decreased in recent weeks and were lower in weeks 42 and 43 than the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks have decreased during weeks 42 and 43 and overall remains 52% lower than the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19.

Reports of EV outbreaks in care homes make up 69% of all outbreaks. The overall reduction in reported outbreaks during the 2 week period compared to 5-season average is mostly due to the decrease reported in educational settings during week 43, and coincides with the October half term school holidays.

Learn more about norovirus in our blog.

Dr Lesley Larkin, Head of surveillance, gastrointestinal infections and food safety at UKHSA, said:

Norovirus is passed on by close contact with people with the infection or touching surfaces that the virus has landed on. It is important to wash your hands with soap and warm water after using the toilet and before preparing food. Remember that alcohol gels do not kill norovirus. Disinfecting all surfaces after any episode of illness can help the spread of the virus.

If you do get norovirus, it is easy to become dehydrated, so drink plenty of fluids to prevent this. Those experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting should not return to work or send unwell children to school until at least 48 hours after symptoms have cleared. If anyone is concerned about their symptoms, contact NHS 111 or talk to their GP by phone or visit the NHS norovirus webpage for more information.

Thursday 3 November 2022

Flu surveillance up until end of week 43

Swab test positivity* for influenza has continued to increase and is now at 6.1%, it is highest in 15 to 44-year-olds at 13.4%, followed by 5 to 14-year-olds at 10.4%.

Hospitalisation rates for flu are highest in those aged 85 and over at 2.37 followed by those aged 75 to 84 at 1.63.

Vaccine uptake for flu compared to the previous 2021 to 2022 season is comparable for 65-year-olds and over, currently 64.3%. For those under 65 years in clinical risk groups, 29.9% and for pregnant women 20.7%, but lower in 2 and 3 years old, 20.3% and 21.8%.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist for the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

We’re now seeing flu spreading in all age groups over recent weeks. Children aged 2 to 3 may have little natural immunity to flu and can become severely ill. The recent flu season in Australia saw a high number of children hospitalised and there have already been intensive care admissions of young children in the UK. That is why we are urging parents to get their children vaccinated as soon as possible.

It is also important that schoolchildren get vaccinated as it not only protects them but also reduces the spread of flu. Again, parents should ensure they fill in the school consent form so their child is able to get the nasal spray through their school programme.

*among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 43

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, COVID-19 activity has decreased in most indicators in week 43 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England in week 43 to 182 compared to 280 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases for week 43 was 9.0 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 11.7 in the previous week.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 43 was 7.78 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 9.82 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the North East, with a rate of 11.49 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at UKHSA, said:

The continued success of the vaccination programme means that COVID-19 cases and hospitalisation rates are still falling across the UK. This is excellent news, but we need to make sure that we remain protected through the winter. We are urging everyone to come forward and take up all the vaccine doses for which they are eligible as soon as possible.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) surveillance up until end of week 43                                                                                                                                       

RSV swab positivity* increased to 8.3% in week 43, with the highest positivity in under 5-year-olds at 29.3%.

Emergency department attendances for bronchiolitis (an infection of the small airways most commonly caused by RSV) in the under 1s have also increased, and RSV admissions in the under 5s.

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist for UKHSA, said:

Hospital attendances and admissions for RSV and bronchiolitis continue to rise in young children, in line with what we typically see at this time of year. For children under 2, RSV can be severe – particularly for babies and those born prematurely.

With RSV rising, actions like using tissues and handwashing can reduce spread to the most vulnerable. If you are ill, do not visit babies. If you are worried your infant has cold symptoms with any unusual breathing or difficulty feeding, please contact 111 or your GP. If your child seems seriously unwell, trust your judgement and get emergency care.

*among people with symptoms tested at sentinel ‘spotter’ laboratories, reported through the Respiratory Datamart surveillance system.

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 42

Laboratory reports of norovirus have started to increase in recent weeks and were comparable in weeks 41 and 42 to the 5-season average pre-COVID-19 (2014/2015 to 2018/2019).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks have been stable during weeks 41 and 42 but overall remains 32% lower than the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID-19.

Reports of EV outbreaks in care homes have increased by 50% from week 41 to 42 but have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Richard Elson, Principal Epidemiologist, UKHSA, said:

We are starting to see a rise in norovirus outbreaks in care homes. Help stop norovirus spreading in this vulnerable group by avoiding visits if you are unwell.

It is important to remember, alcohol gels don’t kill norovirus. The best way to protect yourself and others is to wash your hands with soap and warm water regularly and thoroughly, especially after illness or after using the toilet and before handling food.

If you are unlucky enough to become ill from the virus, drink plenty of fluids and don’t return to work or send sick children to school until at least 48 hours after symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting have stopped. This is particularly important if you work with food or with people who are very young or very old.

Thursday 27 October 2022

Flu surveillance up until end of week 42

Positivity for flu has continued to increase and is now at 5.2%. It is the highest in 5 to 14-year-olds at 12% followed by 15 to 44-year-olds at 9.6%.

Hospitalisation rates for flu are highest in those aged 0 to 4 at 3.19 followed by those aged 85+ at 2.48 per 100,000.

Vaccine uptake for flu compared to the previous 2021 to 2022 season is comparable for 65-year-olds and over, currently 59%. For those under 65 years in clinical risk groups, 25.7% and for pregnant women 17.9%, but lower in 2 and 3 years old, 16% and 17.1%.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist for the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

Hospital admission rates for flu have increased in recent weeks and remain highest in those under 5. Already this year a small number of young children have needed intensive care. Please book your pre-schooler in for flu vaccine at your GP surgery as soon as you can.

Flu nasal spray vaccine is also currently being offered to all primary school children and will be available for some secondary school years later this season.

COVID-19 surveillance up until end of week 42

Surveillance indicators suggest that, at a national level, coronavirus (COVID-19) activity has decreased in most indicators in week 42 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England in week 42 to 280 compared to 347 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases for week 42 was 10.2 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 12.8 in the previous week.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 42 was 10.06 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 11.61 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the South West, with a rate of 14.08 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at UKHSA, said:

The ongoing drop in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisation rates is a testament to the continued success of the autumn booster programme and it is hugely encouraging that 10 million people in England have already taken up their booster. However, it is vital that we do not become complacent as cases could rise quickly again throughout the winter and we need to be ready. Please come forward for your booster as soon as it is offered to you.

Vaccines remain our best protection against disease but it’s also important that we all remain cautious as we head into winter. If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, it is important to avoid contact with elderly people or those who have underlying health conditions. This will not only help to keep you and your loved ones safe, but will go a long way to relieving the pressure on the NHS through the winter.

RSV and other respiratory virus surveillance up until end of week 42

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) swab positivity increased to 6.5% in week 42, with the highest positivity in children under 5, at 23.4%.

Learn more about RSV in our blog.

Dr Conall Watson, Consultant Epidemiologist for UKHSA, said:

RSV levels are rising in young children as we head into winter. For children under 2 RSV can be severe – particularly for babies and those born prematurely, with a heart condition or chronic lung disease.

If you are ill, avoid visiting babies. Smoking around babies also increases their risk of severe RSV infection. If you are worried your infant has cold symptoms causing any unusual breathing or difficulty feeding, please seek advice from 111 or your GP. If your child seems seriously unwell, trust your judgement and get emergency care.

Norovirus surveillance up until end of week 41

Laboratory reports of norovirus have increased in recent weeks and were higher during weeks 40 and 41 than the 5-season average pre-COVID (year 2014 to 2015 to year 2018 to 2019).

The number of reported enteric virus (EV) outbreaks have been stable during weeks 40 and 41, but overall remains 33% lower than the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID.

Throughout the 2022 to 2023 season to date, EV outbreaks have returned to comparable levels for the point in this season in educational settings compared to the same period in the 5 seasons pre-COVID and reports of outbreaks in hospital and care home settings have remained notably low.

Rotavirus laboratory reports are currently 22% higher than the 5-season average of the same 2-week period pre-COVID.

Dr Richard Elson, Principal Epidemiologist, UKHSA, said:

Norovirus activity is starting to increase as we head into winter. Alcohol gels don’t kill norovirus, so the best way to protect yourself and others is to wash your hands with soap and warm water regularly and thoroughly, especially after an episode of illness or after using the toilet and before handling food.

If you are unlucky enough to be struck down by the virus, drink plenty of fluids and don’t return to work or send sick children to school or nursery until at least 48 hours after symptoms including diarrhoea and vomiting have stopped. Please don’t visit loved ones in hospital or care homes, to help reduce the risk of outbreaks among those who are more vulnerable.

Thursday 20 October 2022

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 decreased in most indicators in week 41 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England in week 41 to 347 compared to 370 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases for week 41 was 11.0 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 13.9 in the previous week.

The COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 41 was 11.75 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 12.53 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the South West, with a rate of 15.96 per 100,000 population.

Cases of flu have climbed quickly in the past week, indicating that the season has begun earlier than normal. We are seeing hospitalisations and ICU admissions rising the fastest in children under 5.

Vaccination for flu is currently behind last season for pre-schoolers (12.1% in all 2 year olds and 12.8% in all 3 year olds) and pregnant women (12.4%) and under 65 in a clinical risk group (18.2%). This is compared to 17.4% in 2 year olds, 18.6% in 3 year olds, 15.7% in pregnant women and 20.7% in under 65s and in clinical risk groups last year.

Around 33 million people are eligible for the flu vaccine and 26 million people are eligible for the COVID-19 booster. Getting vaccinated is not just about protecting yourself but others around you, especially the more vulnerable groups.

Information on eligibility for the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster is available.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency, said:

Our latest data shows early signs of the anticipated threat we expected to face from flu this season. We’re urging parents in particular not to be caught out as rates of hospitalisations and ICU admissions are currently rising fastest in children under 5. This will be a concern for many parents and carers of young children, and we urge them to take up the offer of vaccination for eligible children as soon as possible.

It’s possible that we’re already seeing the benefits from so many people taking up their COVID-19 autumn booster in England. Encouragingly, the latest data shows a small decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisation rates over the past week. There’s no room for complacency though, as cases could rise again at any point and we need to be armed in readiness through vaccination of everyone who’s eligible. Don’t delay; please come forward for both COVID-19 and flu vaccinations as soon as you’re offered them.

Vaccines remain our best protection against severe disease and hospitalisation this winter but it’s also vital that we all remain cautious as we head into winter when people tend to mix more indoors and the risk increases. If you are feeling unwell, avoid contact with elderly people or those with underlying health conditions. ## Previous

Thursday 13 October 2022

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 increased in most indicators in week 40 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased in England in week 40 to 370 compared to 270 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 40 was 12.1 per 100,000 population, an increase from 11.7 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 40 was 12.60 per 100,000 population, an increase from 10.65 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the North East, with a rate of 15.84 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

We’re seeing sustained increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisation rates so we continue to urge those eligible for vaccinations to come forward, whether that’s a first dose or a booster. Vaccines are the best protection against severe disease and hospitalisation this winter and it’s never too late to take up your first dose. It’s fantastic to see that around 30% of those eligible have already come forward for their booster in such a short period of time.

There are early indications that deaths with COVID-19 have also started to rise. While this is concerning, it is too early to say whether these are deaths due to COVID-19 and it is reassuring that at this stage there is no overall excess mortality.

If you are unwell or have symptoms of a respiratory infection, it is particularly important to avoid contact with elderly people or those who are more likely to have severe disease because of their ongoing health conditions.

Wearing a face covering will also help stop respiratory infections spreading.

Thursday 6 October 2022

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 increased in most indicators in week 39 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased in England in week 39 to 273 compared to 170 in the previous week; a 61% increase in suspected outbreaks.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 39 was 9.2 per 100,000 population, a 10% increase compared to the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 39 was 10.83 per 100,000 population, a 45% increase compared to the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the South West, with a rate of 16.67 per 100,000 population. This represents a 250% increase in the South West since mid-September, when there was a rate of 4.79 per 100,000 population.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

This week’s data shows concerning further increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisation rates, which are now at their highest level in months. Outbreaks in hospitals and care homes are also on the rise.

Make sure you have any COVID-19 vaccinations you are eligible for and avoid contact with others if you feel unwell or have symptoms of a respiratory infection.

If you are unwell, it is particularly important to avoid contact with elderly people or those who are more likely to have severe disease because of their ongoing health conditions. 

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, wearing a face covering will also help stop infections spreading.

Thursday 29 September 2022

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 increased in most indicators in week 38 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased in England in week 38 to 170 compared to 133 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 38 was 6.9 per 100,000 population, an increase from 5.5 in the previous week. There was a large increase in those aged over 80.

The hospital admission rate for week 38 was 7.62 per 100,000 population, an increase from 4.96 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the North East, with a rate of 10.82 per 100,000 population

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Public Health Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

It is clear now that we are seeing an increase which could signal the start of the anticipated winter wave of COVID-19 – so the time to boost your protection with a vaccine if you’re eligible is now. Cases have started to climb and hospitalisations are increasing in the oldest age groups.

In the coming weeks, we expect a double threat of low immunity and widely circulating flu and COVID-19, creating an unpredictable winter and additional pressure on health services. While COVID-19 and flu can be mild infections for many, we must not forget that they can cause severe illness or even death for those most vulnerable in our communities.

If you are unwell this winter, please try to stay at home and avoid contact with vulnerable people – this will help stop infections spreading.

Thursday 22 September 2022

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 remained stable in most indicators in week 37 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased in England in week 37 to 133 compared to 131 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 37 was 4.6 per 100,000 population, a slight decrease from 5.1 in the previous week. There were small increases in those aged over 80.

The hospital admission rate for week 37 was 4.91 per 100,000 population, a slight decrease from 5.94 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the North East, with a rate of 7.19 per 100,000 population.

Our latest data, available through the COVID-19 dashboard, is updated weekly on Thursdays at around 4pm and is the focus of the below quote.

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor at the UK Health Security Agency, said:

While COVID-19 rates are still low, the latest data for the last 7 days indicate a rise in hospitalisations and a rise in positive tests reported from the community. 

For those eligible, the time to get your autumn booster is now. Getting a booster will give your immune system time to build up your protection against being severely ill from COVID-19 as we move into winter.

All of the available boosters provide good protection against severe illness from COVID-19 and getting your booster sooner rather than later is crucial.

As it gets colder and we head towards winter, we will start to see respiratory infections pick up – please try to stay at home if you are unwell and avoid contact with vulnerable people.

Thursday 15 September 2022

The latest national influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report has been published.

Thursday 8 September 2022

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 decreased in most indicators in week 35 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased in England in week 35 to 116 compared to 111 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 35 was 3.7 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 4.1 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 35 was 5.33 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 6.17 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the North East, with a rate of 6.71 per 100,000 population.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, consultant epidemiologist for immunisation and countermeasures at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

The latest COVID-19 indicators provide more positive news, as COVID-19 case rates and hospitalisations continue to decline.

However, with respiratory viruses increasing in circulation in the winter months we can expect to see growing cases of COVID-19 in the coming weeks. We urge all who are contacted to come forward and accept their booster when called for their jab. The NHS booking system is now open for immunosuppressed people and those aged over 75.

We also encourage everyone to keep helping to reduce the spread of the virus – meeting in well-ventilated spaces, washing hands regularly and staying away from others where possible if you have symptoms of a respiratory illness.

Thursday 1 September 2022

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 decreased in most indicators in week 34 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England in week 34 to 111 compared to 124 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 34 was 3.8 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 5.1 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 34 was 5.88 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 7.17 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 8.23 per 100,000 population.

The latest evidence shows that vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation is similar for the BA.4/5 variants as it is for BA.2.

​In somebody who received their second dose around 6 months previously, a booster dose increases protection against hospitalisation by 50 to 60%. This is the most comprehensive analysis of vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation for BA.4/5 undertaken to date.

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, consultant epidemiologist for immunisation and countermeasures at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

The latest COVID-19 indicators provide more positive news, with continued low levels of COVID-19 case rates and hospitalisations and a sustained downward trend.

The latest evidence shows vaccine effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against hospitalisation with the BA.4 and BA.5 variant is similar to the protection given for BA.2. The latest analysis shows getting a booster dose 6 or more months after your first 2 jabs increases protection against hospitalisation by around 60%.

The autumn booster will provide the best protection against COVID-19 this winter and we urge all those eligible – people aged 50 and over and those with underlying health conditions – to come forward when called for their jab.

We also encourage everyone to keep up the actions that are helping to reduce the spread of the virus – meeting in well-ventilated spaces, washing hands regularly and staying away from others where possible if you have symptoms of a respiratory illness.

Thursday 25 August 2022

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 decreased in most indicators in week 33 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England in week 33 to 124 compared to 172 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 33 was 4.7 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 5.9 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 33 was 7.35 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 8.90 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 remain highest in the North East, with a rate of 9.67 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

COVID-19 case rates and hospitalisations are at low levels and continue on a downward trend.

The effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines significantly reduces the risk of being seriously ill with the virus. When the autumn booster is rolled out in a few weeks’ time we urge all those eligible – people aged 50 and over and those with underlying health conditions – to come forward for their jab.

We also encourage everyone to keep up the actions that are helping to reduce the spread of the virus – meeting in well-ventilated spaces, washing hands regularly and staying away from others where possible if you have symptoms of a respiratory illness.

Thursday 18 August 2022

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 decreased in most indicators in week 32 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England in week 32 to 172 compared to 239 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 32 was 5.7 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 6.8 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 32 was 9.8 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 10.12 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 are highest in the North East, with a rate of 13.42 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

It’s very encouraging that COVID-19 case rates and hospitalisation are now at low levels. We expect them to remain low over the coming weeks before rising again as we head into the autumn and winter.

COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide the best defence against serious illness and hospitalisation with COVID-19. Plans are well under way for the roll-out of the autumn booster programme and we urge all those eligible – people aged 50 and over and those with underlying health conditions – to come forward when called to have the maximum protection against COVID-19.

We also encourage everyone to keep up the actions that are helping to reduce the spread of the virus – meeting in well-ventilated spaces, washing hands regularly and staying away from others where possible if you have symptoms of a respiratory illness.

Thursday 11 August 2022

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 decreased in most indicators in week 31 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England to 239 in week 31, compared to 271 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 31 was 5.9 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 6.8 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 31 was 10.10 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 12.09 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 remain highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 15.13 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

COVID-19 case rates, hospitalisations and ICU admissions have continued to decline this week, in order to drive down the virus further we urge eligible people to keep coming forward for their vaccine.

Vaccination remains the best form of defence against hospitalisation and serious illness.

Meeting up outdoors or in well ventilated spaces where possible, observing good hand hygiene and covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing will continue to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Don’t forget that if you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 4 August 2022

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 decreased in several indicators in week 30 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England to 271 in week 30, compared to 416 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 30 was 6.0 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 9.3 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 30 was 12.13 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 15.61 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 17.49 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

While COVID-19 case rates, hospitalisations and ICU admissions continue to show positive signs of decline we urge eligible people to keep coming forward for their vaccine.

Vaccination remains the best form of defence against hospitalisation and serious illness with the virus.

It’s also important to keep remembering the simple steps that will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 – meet up outdoors or in well ventilated spaces where possible, observe good hand hygiene and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Don’t forget that if you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 28 July 2022

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 decreased in several indicators in week 29 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England to 416 in week 29, compared to 528 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 29 was 8.3 per 100,000 population, a slight decrease from 10.3 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 29 was 16.29 per 100,000 population, a slight decrease from 18.22 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 remain highest in the North East, with a rate of 20.19 per 100,000 population.

Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, Deputy Director of Public Health Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

We are now seeing decreases in COVID-19 case rates and hospitalisations. While this is encouraging, COVID-19 has not gone away and we really want to see further declines in the coming weeks and months. People aged 75 and over remain at particular risk of severe disease if they are not up to date with their vaccinations.

We urge anyone who is not up to date with their jabs to come forward to give themselves the best possible protection.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, try to meet up outdoors or in well ventilated spaces and remember to keep up good hand hygiene and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. It is also sensible to wear a face covering if you are in crowded, enclosed spaces.

If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 21 July 2022

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 increased slightly in several indicators in week 28 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England to 528 in week 28, compared to 537 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 28 was 9.5 per 100,000 population, a slight decrease from 11.2 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 28 was 18.34 per 100,000 population, a slight increase from 18.04 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 remain highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 25.33 per 100,000 population.

Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, Deputy Director of Public Health Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

The increase in COVID-19 case rates and hospitalisations continues to show signs of slowing but there is no room to be complacent and people aged 75 and over remain at particular risk of severe disease if they are not up to date with their vaccinations.

We urge all those who are eligible for a booster to take up the offer as soon as possible. Anyone who has not yet had their first or second dose, should also get up to date with their jabs to give themselves the best possible protection.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, try to meet up outdoors or in well ventilated spaces and remember to keep up good hand hygiene and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. It is also sensible to wear a face covering if you are in crowded, enclosed spaces.

If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 14 July 2022

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 increased in several indicators in week 27 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased in England to 537 in week 27, compared to 504 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 27 was 9.4 per 100,000 population, a slight increase from 9.3 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 27 was 17.90 per 100,000 population, an increase from 15.74 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 remain highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 24.45 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

COVID-19 case rates and hospitalisations continue to rise, although the rate of increase appears to be slowing. Those aged 75 and over who have not taken up the offer of the spring booster put themselves at risk of severe disease.

We urge all those who are eligible for the spring booster to take up the offer as soon as possible. Anyone who has not yet had their first or second dose, should also get up to date with their jabs to give themselves the best possible protection.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, try to meet up outdoors or in well ventilated spaces and remember to keep up good hand hygiene and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. It is also sensible to wear a face covering if you are in crowded, enclosed spaces. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 7 July 2022

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 increased in several indicators in week 26 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased in England to 504 in week 26, compared to 382 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 26 was 7.4 per 100,000 population, a slight increase from 7.3 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 26 was 14.59 per 100,000 population, an increase from 11.12 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 remain highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 16.97 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

We continue to see COVID-19 case rates and hospitalisations rise in all age groups, with the largest increases in hospitalisations and ICU admissions in those aged 75 and older.

There is likely to be a substantial amount of waning immunity in older people who have not taken up the booster on schedule, so we can expect these rises to continue over the coming weeks and throughout July.

It’s reassuring that 79.8 per cent of people aged 75 and over in June have had a vaccine in the past 6 months but we urge the remaining 16 per cent to get their spring booster as soon as possible to help protect against serious illness – preliminary analysis shows that the vaccine is continuing to protect against severe illness and remains the best defence against severe disease and hospitalisation. This includes anyone who had their last vaccine more than 6 months ago, as well as those living in care homes or who are clinically vulnerable.

Vaccination remains the best defence against severe disease and we urge anyone who’s eligible for the spring booster to take it up. Remember that COVID-19 has not gone away and we should all keep up good hand and respiratory hygiene.

It is also sensible to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 30 June 2022

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 increased in several indicators in week 25 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased in England to 382 in week 25, compared to 261 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 25 was 6.0 per 100,000 population, a slight increase from 5.3 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 25 was 11.11 per 100,000 population, an increase from 7.98 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 remain highest in the North West, with a rate of 15.09 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

We continue to see an increase in COVID-19 data, with a rise in case rates and hospitalisations in those aged 65 years and over, and outbreaks in care homes.

We can also now see a rise in ICU admissions in older age groups.

It’s reassuring that 83.5 per cent of people aged 75 and over have had a vaccine in the past 6 months but we urge the remaining 16.5% per cent, as well as those living in care homes or who are clinically vulnerable, to get their spring booster for protection against serious illness. Vaccination remains the best defence against severe disease and hospitalisation.

COVID-19 has not gone away and we should all remember to keep up good hand and respiratory hygiene. It is also sensible to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 23 June 2022

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 increased in several indicators in week 24 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased in England to 261 in week 24, compared to 170 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 24 was 4.2 per 100,000 population, a slight increase from 3.9 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 24 was 8.20 per 100,000 population, an increase from 6.11 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 remain highest in the North East, with a rate of 12.45 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

We continue to see increases in COVID-19 outbreaks within care homes and hospitalisations among those aged 75 years and over.

Our data also shows that 17.5 per cent of people aged 75 years and over have not had a vaccine within the past 6 months, putting them more at risk of severe disease.

“We urge everyone in this age group, as well as those living in a care home or who are clinically vulnerable, to ensure they get their spring booster for protection against serious illness.

COVID-19 has not gone away and we should all remember to keep up good hand and respiratory hygiene. It is also sensible to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 16 June 2022

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 (including case rates) has increased in week 23 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased in England to 170 in week 23, compared to 78 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 23 was 3.3 per 100,000 population, a slight increase from 3.0 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 23 was 6.10 per 100,000 population, an increase from 4.65 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 remain highest in the North East, with a rate of 10.70 per 100,000 population.

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

After a period of low case rates, we are now seeing increases in outbreaks within care homes and in hospitalisations among those aged 80 years and over.

It is encouraging that we are not seeing an increase in intensive care unit (ICU) admissions but we are monitoring data closely and assessing the possible impact of subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.

As we enter summer, it’s still important to remember that COVID-19 has not gone away and to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill with the virus. If you’re not yet up to date with your jabs please come forward now – it’s not too late to get protected.

Remember to observe good hand and respiratory hygiene. It is also sensible to wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 9 June 2022

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 (including case rates) have decreased in week 22 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased slightly in England to 78 in week 22, compared to 69 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 22 was 2.50 per 100,000 population, a slight increase from 2.40 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 22 was 4.69 per 100,000 population, a slight increase from 4.50 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 8.30 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, consultant epidemiologist for immunisation and countermeasures at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

COVID-19 case rates continue to decline, but it remains important to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of serious illness. If you’ve yet to take up the offer of a vaccine or have missed your latest jab please come forward now.

Recent data has shown a small rise in positivity rates and in hospitalisations with COVID-19. These small increases should be interpreted with caution as data may be subject to delays due to the Jubilee bank holiday.

Remember to observe good hand and respiratory hygiene. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Monday 6 June 2022

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 (including case rates and hospital admissions) has decreased in week 21 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) decreased in England to 69 in week 21, compared to 129 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 21 was 4.69 per 100,000 population, down from 5.62 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 7.56 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, Deputy Director of Public Health Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

Case rates and hospitalisations have continued to decline, but it remains as important as ever to get vaccinated and protect yourself from severe disease. If you’ve yet to take up the offer of a vaccine or have missed your latest jab, please come forward now.

If you are in a crowded, enclosed space it is still sensible to wear a face covering – and remember to keep washing your hands regularly.

If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 26 May 2022

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 (including case rates and hospital admissions) has decreased in week 20 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) increased slightly in England to 129 in week 20, compared to 127 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 20 was 5.68 per 100,000 population, down from 6.89 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 11.69 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

The continuing decline in case rates and hospitalisations is good news, but it’s still essential to get vaccinated. If you’ve yet to take up the offer of a vaccine or have missed your latest jab please come forward now.

If you are in a crowded, enclosed space it is still sensible to wear a face covering, and remember to keep washing your hands regularly. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 19 May 2022

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 (including case rates and hospital admissions) has decreased in week 19 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 127 in week 19, compared to 198 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 19 was 6.81 per 100,000 population, down from 8.35 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 10.04 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

While COVID-19 hospital admissions continue to decline it is important that we do not become complacent. If you’ve yet to take up the offer of vaccine or have missed your latest jab please come forward now; vaccines continue to offer the best protection against severe illness.

If you are in a crowded enclosed space it is sensible to wear a face covering, and remember to keep washing your hands regularly. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 12 May 2022

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 (including case rates and hospital admissions) has decreased in week 18 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 198 in week 18, compared to 229 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 18 was 3.6 per 100,000 population, down from 4.6 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 18 was 7.87 per 100,000 population, down from 9.87 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 13.00 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, Deputy Director of Public Health Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

COVID-19 hospital admissions continue to decline week on week. Vaccines continue to offer high levels of protection against severe illness, so if you’ve yet to take up the offer of vaccine or have missed your latest jab please come forward now.

If you are in a crowded enclosed space it is sensible to wear a face covering, and remember to keep washing your hands regularly. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially elderly or vulnerable people.

Thursday 5 May 2022

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 (including case rates and hospital admissions) has decreased in week 17 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 229 in week 17, compared to 440 in the previous week.

Positivity for pillar one laboratory confirmed cases for week 17 was 4.50 per 100,000 population, down from 6.30 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 17 was 10.04 per 100,000 population, down from 13.03 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 18.44 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

The continued fall of COVID-19 hospital admissions and acute respiratory infections remains encouraging and demonstrates that vaccines are providing strong protection against severe illness.

Make sure you are up to date with your latest jabs, if you are in a crowded enclosed space it is sensible to wear a face covering, and remember to keep washing your hands regularly. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially those who are elderly or vulnerable.

Thursday 28 April 2022

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 (including case rates and hospital admissions) has declined in week 16 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 440 in week 16, compared to 559 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 16 was 12.35 per 100,000 population, down from 16.70 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 22.01 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency, said:

While the number of COVID-19 hospital admissions and acute respiratory infections continue to fall this week, the virus still remains a threat to those who are more vulnerable.

Vaccination provides the greatest protection against severe illness. Please ensure you are up to date with your latest jabs. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially those who are elderly or vulnerable.

Thursday 21 April 2022

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 (including case rates and hospital admissions) has declined in week 15 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 559 in week 15, compared to 788 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 15 was 16.17 per 100,000 population, down from 19.94 in the previous week.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 22.79 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency, said:

It is encouraging that COVID-19 hospital admissions and acute respiratory infections continue to fall this week. We should all take action to keep driving this downward trend.

Vaccination provides the greatest protection against severe illness. Please ensure you are up to date with your latest jabs. If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, and a high temperature or feel unwell, try to stay at home or away from others – especially those who are elderly or vulnerable.

Thursday 14 April 2022

Given the reduction in COVID-19 testing for the general public, UKHSA surveillance will now focus on high-risk groups such as patients in NHS hospitals, those eligible for COVID-19 antiviral and other treatments and staff working in the NHS and adult social care.  This ‘Pillar One’ data will be the key component of our weekly surveillance reports.

Read more in our latest blog post.

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 decreased in week 14 of 2022.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 788 in week 14, compared to 952 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 14 was 18.90 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 21.29 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 25.94 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Mary Ramsay, Director of Clinical Programmes at the UK Health Security Agency, said:

From this week our surveillance has shifted focus on targeted testing for high risk groups such as NHS hospital patients, those eligible for antiviral and other COVID-19 treatments and health and social care staff. It is encouraging that hospital admissions appear to have plateaued this week and we will continue to monitor this closely over the coming weeks.

If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a high temperature, try to stay at home or away from other people – especially those who are elderly or vulnerable.

Vaccination remains essential for all eligible people, so if you’re not up to date, please make sure you get your latest jab.

Thursday 7 April 2022

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

Surveillance indicators suggest that at a national level coronavirus (COVID-19) there were increases in some COVID-19 indicators but others decreased, suggesting that the rate of increase in activity seen in recent weeks may be slowing in week 13 of 2022.

Case rates remain highest in those aged 30 to 39, with a weekly rate of 820.0 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates remain in those aged 0 to 4, with a weekly rate of 196.4 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population remain highest in the South West, at 804.5.

Case rates per 100,000 remain lowest in the London, with a weekly rate of 483.2.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 952 in week 13, compared to 851 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 13 was 20.46 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 20.08 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 31.14 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

High case rates and increasing numbers of hospitalisations remind us that the pandemic is not over and COVID-19 still poses a real risk to vulnerable people. As people mix more, we have also seen increasing levels of common infections such as flu and norovirus.

If you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection such as a high temperature try to stay at home or away from other people – especially those who you know are vulnerable.

While people will be looking forward to catching up with friends and family over the Easter period, it’s important to keep indoor spaces well ventilated, wash your hands regularly and wear a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces or when visiting people at highest risk of severe illness with COVID19.

It’s important to catch up on any primary or booster jabs, so if you’re not up to date, please make sure you get a jab.

Thursday 31 March 2022

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

Surveillance indicators suggest that at a national level coronavirus (COVID-19) activity remained stable in most indicators of week 12 of 2022. Case rates increased in some age groups, regions and ethnic groups, remaining stable or decreasing in others.

Case rates remain highest in those aged 30 to 39, with a weekly rate of 1,123.7 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates remain in those aged 0 to 4, with a weekly rate of 295.1 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population remain highest in the South West, at 1,190.5.

Case rates per 100,000 remain lowest in the London, with a weekly rate of 650.3.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 851 in week 12, compared to 1173 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 12 was 19.48 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 18.55 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the South West, with a rate of 28.61 per 100,000 population.

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

Dame Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

The pandemic is not over and how the virus will develop over time remains uncertain. COVID-19 still poses a real risk to many of us, particularly with case rates and hospitalisations on the rise. That is why it is sensible to wear a mask in enclosed spaces, keep indoor spaces ventilated and stay away from others if you have any symptoms of a respiratory illness, including COVID-19.

Vaccination remains the best way to protect us all from severe disease and hospitalisation due to COVID-19 infection. If you have not yet come forward for your primary or booster I would urge you to do so straight away. The NHS vaccine programme is there to help you and the sooner you are vaccinated the sooner you and your family and friends will be protected.

Thursday 24 March 2022

This week we publish the 100th national influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report.

The main points from this week’s report are:

Surveillance indicators suggest that at a national level COVID-19 activity increased in most indicators of week 11 of 2022.

Case rates remain highest in those aged 30 to 39, with a weekly rate of 1,122.1 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates remain in those aged 0 to 4, with a weekly rate of 332.8 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population remain highest in the South West, at 1,269.1.

Case rates per 100,000 remain lowest in the North East, with a weekly rate of 647.9.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 1,173 in week 11, compared to 842 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 11 was 17.89 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 14.07 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the South West, with a rate of 28.71 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

The rate at which we’re currently seeing cases increasing is a reminder to us all that the pandemic is not over. Hospital admissions and cases of COVID-19 have continued to rise and we can expect to see further increases before we start to see a decline.

Vaccination is the key to staying safe from serious illness and it’s vital that everyone gets all of their recommended doses. Wearing a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces, socialising outside where possible, and always observing good hand hygiene will also help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Anyone with symptoms or a positive tests should limit their contact with others as much as possible.

Thursday 17 March 2022

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 increased in most indicators of week 10 of 2022.

Case rates were highest in those aged 30 to 39, with a weekly rate of 878.7 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 0 to 4, with a weekly rate of 286.5 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South West at 939.3.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in the North East with a weekly rate of 435.9.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 842 in week 10, compared to 514 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 10 was 13.38 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 11.67 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the South East, with a rate of 19.31 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Mike Gent, COVID-19 Public Health Incident Director at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

COVID-19 is circulating at increasing levels and while rates of severe disease and death remain low, hospital admissions have risen. As we learn to live with COVID-19, it’s vital that everyone keeps taking the necessary steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Vaccination remains our best defence against the virus, and it’s vital that everyone has had all their recommended doses.  Please help reduce transmission by wearing a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces, washing hands regularly, keeping rooms well ventilated.  Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms, and stay at home if positive.

Thursday 10 March 2022

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 increased in most indicators of week 9 of 2022.

Case rates were highest in those aged 30 to 39, with a weekly rate of 542.7 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 0 to 4, with a weekly rate of 149.5 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South West at 528.7.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in the North East with a weekly rate of 265.2.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 514 in week 9, compared to 472 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 9 was 11.26 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 9.84 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the South West, with a rate of 17.22 per 100,000 population.

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

Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

COVID-19 is still circulating at high levels due to the high transmissibility of circulating variants and expected increases in social mixing.

While rates of severe disease and death due to COVID-19 remain low, hospital admissions have risen and we will therefore continue to monitor this data closely.

Vaccination remains our first and best line of defence against illness, and it’s vital that everyone has had their latest dose. We can all help reduce transmission by wearing a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces, washing hands regularly and keeping rooms well ventilated.

Thursday 3 March 2022

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

Surveillance indicators suggest that at a national level coronavirus (COVID-19) activity decreased in all indicators of week 8 of 2022. COVID-19 hospitalisations have decreased slightly in all age groups. The overall number of reported acute respiratory incidents decreased in the past week, in England.

Case rates were highest in those aged 30 to 39, with a weekly rate of 419.9 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 0 to 4, with a weekly rate of 108.7 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South West, at 394.5.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in the North West, with a weekly rate of 211.3.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 472 in week 8, compared to 612 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 8 was 9.43 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 10.61 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the South East, with a rate of 12.68 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

Case rates remain highest in 30 to 39 year olds, but it’s encouraging that we continue to see an overall decline in the number of cases and hospitalisations. Please remember that we can help to reduce transmission even further by wearing a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces, washing hands regularly and keeping rooms well ventilated.

Thursday 24 February 2022

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

Surveillance indicators suggest that at a national level coronavirus (COVID-19) activity decreased in all indicators of week 7 of 2022. COVID-19 hospitalisations have decreased slightly in all age groups.

The overall number of reported acute respiratory incidents decreased in the past week, in England.

Case rates were highest in those aged 30 to 39, with a weekly rate of 583.2 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 0 to 4, with a weekly rate of 155.4 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South West at 557.8.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in the North West with a weekly rate of 285.9.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 612 in week 7, compared to 739 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 7 was 10.11 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 11.65 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 13.78 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

The overall number of cases and hospitalisations due to COVID-19 continues to decline but we should be aware that the virus is still with us and remains a threat to the health of vulnerable people. 

Even as we move into this new period of living with COVID-19, we still want to keep levels of transmission low. Make sure you get your latest vaccine, regularly wash your hands and ventilate rooms well.  It’s wise to wear a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces.

Thursday 17 February 2022

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 decreased in all indicators of week 6 of 2022. COVID-19 hospitalisations have decreased slightly in all age groups.

The overall number of reported acute respiratory incidents decreased in the past week, in England.

Case rates were highest in those aged 30 to 39, with a weekly rate of 720.7 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 0 to 4, with a weekly rate of 204.5 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South West at 728.1.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in the North West with a weekly rate of 370.4.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 739 in week 6, compared to 814 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 6 was 11.04 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 13.59 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 15.84 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Derren Ready, COVID-19 Public Health Incident Director at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

It is reassuring to see a continued decline in the overall number of cases and hospitalisations due to COVID-19 but we should remain aware that rates are still high, the virus remains with us and people are still being admitted to hospital with COVID-19.  Cases are currently highest in 30 to 39-year olds.

I encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated or receive a booster vaccine where appropriate. Vaccination is the best way to protect against serious illness and may also reduce the longer-term impact of infection.

Please keep playing your part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a face covering in crowded or enclosed spaces and regularly washing your hands.

Thursday 10 February 2022

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 decreased in most indicators of week 5 of 2022. COVID-19 hospitalisations have decreased slightly in all age groups. The overall number of reported acute respiratory incidents decreased in the past week, in England.

Case rates were highest in those aged 10 to 19, with a weekly rate of 1315.1 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 70 to 79, with a weekly rate of 314.7 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South East, at 1013.9.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in the North West, with a weekly rate of 560.4.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 814 in week 5, compared to 995 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 5 was 13.22 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 16.40 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 18.92 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Colin Brown, COVID-19 Public Health Incident Director at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

We continue to see promising signs across the board, with infections and hospitalisations declining. However, vaccines remain an essential defence against serious illness and so we should continue to take up the offer of our vaccine and booster jabs right away.

Please remember to test regularly with LFDs before meeting anyone who is vulnerable and to take a PCR test if you have symptoms. We must all continue to keep playing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Thursday 3 February 2022

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 decreased in most indicators of week 4 of 2022. 

COVID-19 hospitalisations decreased in most age groups, though have increase slightly in those aged 0 to 4 and 5 to 14.

The overall number of reported acute respiratory incidents decreased in the past week, in England.

Case rates were highest in those aged 5 to 9, with a weekly rate of 1,925.5 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 70 to 79, with a weekly rate of 301.3 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South East, at 1,199.8.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in the North West, with a weekly rate of 745.5.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 995 in week 4, compared to 1,351 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 4 was 15.41 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 16.67 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 25.15 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

This week we have incorporated data on reinfections to improve our understanding of how the virus and its impact has changed. While the pandemic is not over, it is promising that we are no longer seeing rapid rises in incidents of infection and hospitalisation.

We urge everyone to get their vaccine and booster jab as soon as they are eligible, to test regularly with LFDs before meeting anyone who is vulnerable and to take a PCR test if they have symptoms.  Please keep playing your part to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Thursday 27 January 2022

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 remained stable in most indicators of week 3 of 2022. 

COVID-19 hospitalisations decreased in most age groups, though have increase slightly in those aged 0 to 4, 5 to 14 and those aged 15 to 24.

The overall number of reported acute respiratory incidents decreased in the past week in England.

Case rates were highest in those aged 5 to 9, with a weekly rate of 2,473.9 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 70 to 79, with a weekly rate of 286.9 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the North East at 1,181.9.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in London with a weekly rate of 836.2.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 1,351 in week 3, compared to 1,338 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 3 was 16.01 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 18.41 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 26.12 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

Although rates of serious illness from Omicron infections remain low, we are still seeing large numbers of cases, especially in primary-aged children.

We encourage everyone to get vaccinated or a booster jab as soon as they are eligible, to continue testing regularly with LFDs – particularly before meeting anyone who is vulnerable – and to take a PCR test if you have symptoms.

By doing this, we’re all playing our part in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

Thursday 20 January 2022

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 decreased in most indicators of week 2 of 2022. COVID-19 hospitalisations decreased in most age groups except those aged 75 to 84 and those aged 85 and over. The overall number of reported acute respiratory incidents decreased in the past week, in England.

Case rates were highest in those aged 5 to 9, with a weekly rate of 1,935.7 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 70 to 79, with a weekly rate of 336.0 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the North East at 1,410.0.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in the South West with a weekly rate of 800.7.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 1,338 in week 2, compared to 1,450 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 2 was 17.62 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 19.92 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 27.09 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor for the UK Health Security Agency, said:

The recent decline in community case rates and individuals requiring hospitalisation is encouraging and it’s thanks to the public, who have taken up vaccination and followed the Plan B measures closely, that we’ve got to this point. However, we should not be complacent. The pandemic is not over yet and we will need to remain cautious to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. I encourage everyone to get the vaccine as soon as they can, to continue testing regularly with LFDs – particularly before periods of high risk and before seeing anyone who is vulnerable – and to take a PCR test if they have symptoms.

Thursday 13 January

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 decreased in some indicators with case rates decreasing in most groups.

Increases were observed by region in the North East in week 1 of 2022, COVID-19 hospitalisations remained stable and deaths with COVID-19 increased in the most recent week.

The overall number of reported acute respiratory incidents decreased in the past week in England. Changes in testing and population mixing patterns over the last few weeks call for a cautious interpretation of these results.

Case rates were highest in those aged 20 to 29, with a weekly rate of 1,903.3 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a weekly rate of 602.8 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the North East at 2,350.8.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in the South West with a weekly rate of 1,172.1.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 1,450 in week 1, compared to 1,517 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 1 was 19.03 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 19.12 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 28.42 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr. Alicia Demirjian, COVID-19 Public Health Incident Director at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

Overall daily case rates and hospital admissions continue to be high. To protect our loved ones and our health service, it’s still essential that everyone takes all necessary steps to contain this virus. In particular, please get your vaccination or booster jab if you haven’t already.

Thursday 23 December

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

COVID-19 activity has increased across the UK.  Case rates rose in all age groups except those aged 5 to 9, and there has been an increase in the number of acute respiratory infection incidents in England.

Case rates were highest in those aged 20 to 29, with a weekly rate of 1741.0 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a weekly rate of 112.7 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in London at 1732.6.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in the North East with a weekly rate of 470.1.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 825 in week 50, compared to 621 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 50 was 7.16 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 7.39 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in London, with a rate of 10.53 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

New cases of COVID-19 continue to climb across nearly every age group and nationally daily cases have reached over 100,000 as Omicron spreads through our communities. This should act as another urgent reminder that everyone must do all they can to contain the spread of this virus.

Thursday 16 December

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 increased in most indicators in week 49 of 2021. Case rates increased in most groups.

Case rates were highest in those aged 5 to 9, with a weekly rate of 1021.4 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a weekly rate of 69.5 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in London at 702.8.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in Yorkshire and the Humber with a weekly rate of 352.8.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 621 in week 49, compared to 618 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 49 was 7.06 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 6.71 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the East of England, with a rate of 8.69 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

We are now seeing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant. We need everyone to take action to stop the spread.

That includes getting your booster vaccine, taking a lateral flow test before meeting people, wearing a face covering in crowded enclosed spaces, ventilating rooms and staying at home if you have symptoms

Thursday 9 December

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 increased in some indicators such as case rates for those aged 5 to 9 and the number of acute respiratory infection incidents in England in week 48 of 2021.

Case rates were highest in those aged 5 to 9, with a weekly rate of 1063.8.8 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a weekly rate of 65.4 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South East at 648.5.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in Yorkshire and the Humber with a weekly rate of 361.1.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 618 in week 48, compared to 582 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 48 was 6.40 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 6.43 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 7.56 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Sophia Makki, National Incident Director at the UK Health Security Agency, said:

Rising numbers of cases in younger age groups and the spread of the Omicron variant suggests that we are entering a difficult period. It is crucial that we all act now to stop the spread.

If you haven’t done so already, get your jab as soon as possible. It’s absolutely vital that everyone follows updated government rules including on mask use and working from home where you can. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms stay at home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.

Thursday 2 December

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 decreased in some indicators such as case rates for those aged 5 to 9 and the number of acute respiratory infection incidents in England in week 47 of 2021.

Case rates were highest in those aged 5 to 9, with a weekly rate of 873.8 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a weekly rate of 51.8 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South East at 517.7.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in Yorkshire and Humber with a weekly rate of 308.9.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 582 in week 47, compared to 630 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 47 was 6.02 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 6.80 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 8.10 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at UKHSA, said:

As we observe the Omicron variant emerging, the Delta variant continues to circulate at high levels across all age ranges, and is still causing substantial infection and hospitalisation in older people.  Getting vaccinated, or a booster if you are eligible, is an essential step to prevent the spread of COVID in our communities.

Please wear a mask in crowded places, in shops and on public transport, wash your hands, and ventilate rooms well.  If you have any COVID-19 symptoms stay at home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.

Thursday 25 November

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 increased in some indicators such as case rates for those aged 5 to 9 and 10 to 19 and the number of acute respiratory infection incidents in England in week 46 of 2021.

Case rates were highest in those aged 5 to 9, with a weekly rate of 932.3 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a weekly rate of 63.6 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South East at 530.5.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in London with a weekly rate of 318.1.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 630 in week 46, compared to 554 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 46 was 6.49 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 7.65 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 9.37 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

Rates of COVID-19 continue to increase in younger age groups. While the booster program is protecting many of our friends and relatives, there are still people out there who had not yet taken up their offer of a booster. So as the holiday season approaches and average levels of social mixing go up, please do come forward if you are eligible for a vaccine or a booster, and take up the jab as soon as you are offered.

Older people and those with weaker immune systems are more vulnerable to infection. Always take a rapid lateral flow test before visiting anyone at higher risk of getting seriously ill from the virus.

Small changes can make a big difference in the risk of passing on the infection. Help protect yourself and loved ones by opening windows and doors to increase the air flow when meeting people inside. Please wear a mask in crowded places, wash your hands and, if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.

Previous

Thursday 18 November

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 increased in some indicators in week 45 of 2021.

Case rates were highest in those aged 5 to 9, with a weekly rate of 722.9 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a weekly rate of 76.0 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South West at 485.3.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in London with a weekly rate of 275.2.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 554 in week 45, compared to 452 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 45 was 7.57 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 7.60 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 10.88 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

Rates of COVID-19 continue to increase in those from younger age groups, and hospitalisations remain highest in those aged 85 and over. Following the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announcement on Monday, more people than ever are eligible for second and booster doses – and it is as important as ever to get vaccinated or receive a booster jab as soon as you are offered one.

Socialising indoors in places with poor ventilation increases the risk of infection. Help protect yourself and loved ones by opening windows and doors to ventilate the room when meeting people inside. Wash your hands regularly and wear a mask in crowded places. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.

Thursday 11 November

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 decreased in some indicators in week 44 of 2021.

Case rates were highest in those aged 10 to 19, with a weekly rate of 561.6 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a weekly rate of 82.0 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South West at 409.9.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in London with a weekly rate of 227.8.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 452 in week 44, compared to 502 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 44 was 7.44 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 8.75 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 11.25 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

Rates of COVID-19 remain high across the country, and we all need to play our part to drive down infections, hospitalisations and deaths. Vaccines are the best defence against catching COVID-19 and passing it on – so please come forward if you are eligible for a vaccine or a booster, and take up the jab as soon as you are offered.

The risk of infection increases as winter approaches and people spend more time indoors. Help protect yourself and loved ones by washing your hands regularly and wearing a mask in crowded places. When meeting people inside, open windows and doors to ventilate the room. Testing and self-isolation is still critically important – if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.

Thursday 21 October

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 increased in most indicators in week 41 of 2021.

Case rates were highest in those aged 10 to 19, with a weekly rate of 1366.8 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a weekly rate of 121.2 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the South West at 667.6.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in London with a weekly rate of 253.0.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 576 in week 41, compared to 579 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 41 was 7.20 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 6.26 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the West Midlands, with a rate of 10.08 per 100,000 population.

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

Professor Steven Riley, Director General of Data, Analytics and Surveillance at UK Health Security Agency, said:

Rates of COVID-19 remain high across the country and hospitalisations are increasing. The high death figures recorded this week act as a timely reminder that we all need to play our part to drive down infections, hospitalisations and deaths – the pandemic is far from over. Vaccines remain the best defence against catching COVID-19 and passing it on – please come forward if you haven’t already and if you are eligible for a booster vaccine, please take up the jab as soon as you are offered.

As winter approaches, help protect yourself and loved ones by washing your hands regularly and wearing a mask in crowded places. When meeting people inside, open windows and doors to ventilate the room. Testing and self-isolation is still critically important – if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.

Thursday 14 October

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 had increased in some instances in week 40 of 2021.

Case rates were highest in those aged 10 to 19, with a weekly rate of 1120.8 per 100,000 population.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a weekly rate of 110.8 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the East Midlands at 488.7.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in London with a weekly rate of 214.2.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 579 in week 40, compared to 543 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 40 was 6.03 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 5.74 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 9.98 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr William Welfare, Incident Director at the UK Health Security Agency, said:

Case rates of COVID-19 remain high across the country and have been slowly rising.

As winter approaches, help protect yourself against COVID-19 and flu by washing your hands regularly and wearing a mask in crowded places. When meeting people inside, open windows and doors to ventilate the room.

If you are offered a vaccine for either COVID-19 or flu, please take it. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, get a PCR test.

Thursday 7 October

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 remained stable in most indicators in week 39 of 2021.

Case rates were highest in those aged 10 to 19, with a weekly rate of 1047.7 per 100,000 population, although cases are now falling.

The lowest case rates were in those aged 80 and above, with a weekly rate of 86.0 per 100,000 population.

Weekly case rates per 100,000 population were highest in the East Midlands at 442.4.

Case rates per 100,000 were lowest in London with a weekly rate of 197.3.

The number of acute respiratory infection incidents (suspected outbreaks) in England was 543 in week 39, compared to 622 in the previous week.

The hospital admission rate for week 39 was 5.60 per 100,000 population, in the previous week it was 5.44 per 100,000 population.

Hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were highest in the North East, with a rate of 10.10 per 100,000 population.

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

Dr Mike Gent, Incident Director at UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said:

Cases of COVID-19 remain high across the country, especially among 10 to 19 year olds.

The best way to protect yourself and others is to get a vaccine. While vaccination offers excellent protection against COVID-19, there are things you can do to prevent the spread of the virus.

When meeting people inside, ventilate the room by opening windows and doors. Wear a face covering in crowded places and wash your hands regularly throughout the day.

Avoid mixing with others if you feel unwell for any reason and if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, get a PCR test as soon as possible.

Previous updates were published by Public Health England.

Published 7 October 2021
Last updated 2 February 2023 + show all updates
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