Covid UK: Omicron outbreak in London continues as infection rises to age under 30 but falls to age over 60

According to official figures, which have led scientists to warn that the worst Omicron crisis may not be over yet, the Covid epidemic in London may no longer be shrinking.

In the capital, New Year’s Eve infections have risen overall among people under the age of 60, with the highest incidence in adults aged 20 and 30. Top experts fear that they are likely to creep in as the children have now returned to school, giving the virus more opportunities to spread.

At the same time, the number of cases among people over the age of 60 seems to be declining, a promising sign that pressure on the NHS could ease further, with London hospitals already experiencing a decline in admissions.

However, it is not yet clear whether one of the trends is real or simply due to changes in the number of tests performed, with the proportion of people who now have a positive coronavirus swab falling for the first time since Omicron’s launch.

Academics today warned that cases would inevitably rise beyond the age of 60 if the epidemic generally spreads among younger adults, and warned that the true trajectory would not be clear until next week.

Despite warnings that the epidemic in the capital may not have peaked, a senior London health official said yesterday that the outbreak had peaked during the New Year. Separate surveillance data Covid warned that up to one in 10 Londoners was infected on New Year’s Eve.

London recorded 16,493 cases yesterday, the lowest number since mid-December. His hospitalizations are also declining after culminating at half the level of last year’s winter crisis.

However, the number of critically ill patients barely increased during the Omicron wave, giving ministers the confidence that they would stick to their “get out of it” plan. Mortality rates are also flat and mortality rates are falling due to the ultrainfectant variant, experts say.

Nationwide, the number of Covid cases has fallen week after week in the last four days. However, they are now the highest in the northwest and northeast, which is a sign that these regions may soon face stronger pressures.

The graph above shows the infection rate of people under the age of 60 in London since the end of November.  It shows that while the rate is highest among people aged 20 to 35, there has been a recent increase in children and their parents.

The graph above shows the infection rate of people under the age of 60 in London since the end of November. It shows that while the rate is highest among people aged 20 to 35, there has been a recent increase in children and their parents.

The graph above shows the Covid cases among people over the age of 60 and under the age of 60 in London.  Cases are now stagnating in the younger age group, which is a sign that London's worst crisis Omicron may not be behind us

The graph above shows the Covid cases among people over the age of 60 and under the age of 60 in London. Cases are now stagnating in the younger age group, which is a sign that London’s worst crisis Omicron may not be behind us

The latest data show that since New Year’s Eve, the number of cases between adults aged 20 and 30 has increased, with the sharpest increase recorded in people aged 20 to 29.

The age group recorded a 5.8 percent increase over the week, bringing the number of people infected to 2,666.6 cases per 100,000, the second highest number in the capital. They increased by 0.4 percent (to 2,722.6) in 20- to 24-year-olds and by 2.2 percent (to 2,359) in 30-34-year-olds.

But young children and adults aged 50 saw the largest increase in infection rates over the same period.

A cold can protect you from Covid’s disease, another study found

Catching a cold could also protect against Covid, but further research has suggested.

From the beginning of the pandemic, experts have speculated that other coronaviruses – which tend to cause colds and sore throats – could offer some cross-immunity.

However, new real-world evidence has so far revealed the “clearest evidence” that cold-induced immunity can help fight Covid.

People with higher T cell levels from other seasonal coronaviruses are less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid.

T cells are a key part of the immune system and hunt invading pathogens and prevent them from replicating in the body.

Researchers at Imperial College London studied 52 people who lived with someone who tested positive for the virus. Half caught the virus, while the others managed to avert it.

Within days of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, volunteers took blood samples, allowing researchers to determine their T cell levels.

Non-positive household contacts averaged “significantly higher levels” of pre-existing coronavirus-fighting T cells.

The T cells “targeted the internal proteins in the SARS-CoV-2 virus rather than the spike protein to protect against infection,” the team said.

Professor Ajit Lalvani, one of the researchers, said: “Our study provides the clearest evidence to date that coronavirus-induced T cells of the common cold play a protective role against SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

But experts have warned that people cannot rely on having a cold on their own, as protection from Covid and triple stings remain “the best way to protect themselves.”

For children aged 0 to 4 years by 16.3 percent per week (552.5) ​​and for children aged 5 to 9 years by 7.1 percent (977.4) together with 55 to 59 years old by 10.9 percent (1 824.6) and aged 50 to 54, an increase of 7.8 percent (1,887.9).

The increase may be due to increased testing in these age groups due to the return of schools, where children have been asked to swab before returning to class. Some schools begin the spring semester on January 4, a date that dates back to a date.

Official figures show that 191,000 side-flow tests were carried out in London on 4 January, the highest since March last year. A total of 209,000 was also executed on January 5, the second highest number in history.

There are also first signs that the number of cases over the age of 60 may decline after the infection rate in the age group has dropped every 24 hours in the last two days that data are available.

The rate of those infected over the age of 60 was highest on January 2 (1,324.1), but has fallen in two days since then. On January 3, it fell by 2.3 percent per day (1,293.7) and on January 4, it fell by 1.7 percent (1,271.9).

Professor Gary McLean, an immunologist at London Metropolitan University, said that the return of schools “will definitely lead to more infections”.

But MailOnline said a clearer picture would not appear until ‘next week’, when ‘the usual mixing for work and school returns to pre-Christmas levels’.

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious disease specialist at the University of East Anglia, said the increase in younger age groups may be due to more swabs.

He told MailOnline: “It is likely that the plateau in cases under the age of 60 is due to increased testing when people return to work and so on. [rather than an actual surge]but we’ll have to give it a week or two to be sure. “

Asked if cases over the age of 60 had peaked, Professor Hunter told MailOnline: “It is possible. Based on last day’s data, this age group appears to have declined in London.

‘[But] we’ll have to give it a week or so before we get rid of the holiday … to make things a little clearer. ”

He warned: ‘If the number of cases among people under the age of 60 increases, they will also increase over the age of 60, because people over the age of 60 usually get it from people under the age of 60, not from each other, unless they do not occur right now. ‘

An important statistician from Cambridge University, Sir David Spiegelhalter, also said that it was too early to be sure whether the cases had culminated in older adults in the capital.

He told MailOnline, ‘It’s too early to talk to older people.’

Experts said yesterday that the Omicron wave in London probably peaked during the New Year, with Professor Fenton telling Sky News: “We think we may have overcome or we are at the top.

“Data from ONS.” [Office for National Statistics] suggests that the peak may have occurred during or just before the New Year and that we are seeing a reduction in the total number of cases in the city and the prevalence of infections within the community. ”

‘[But] remember that the infection levels are still very, very high … It means that we are not yet out of this critical phase of the pandemic, even though we may already be behind the peak. “

The above shows the number of side-flow tests performed each day in London.  Reveals large fluctuations in swabs on January 4th and 5th (right) when schools began to return from the summer holidays

The above shows the number of side-flow tests performed each day in London. Reveals large fluctuations in swabs on January 4th and 5th (right) when schools began to return from the summer holidays

The above shows the number of patients with Covid in the capital's hospitals.  He reveals that they can now stabilize at about half the levels of the previous wave

The above shows the number of patients with Covid in the capital’s hospitals. He reveals that they can now stabilize at about half the levels of the previous wave

The above shows the number of patients on mechanical ventilators in London.  It has barely increased since Omicron arrived

The above shows the number of patients on mechanical ventilators in London. It has barely increased since Omicron arrived

This chart shows the number of deaths in Covid recorded in the capital.  It's rising now

This chart shows the number of deaths in Covid recorded in the capital. It’s rising now

Boris Johnson today praised the “great progress” against Omicron and said the government was “looking” to shorten the period of self-isolation as ministers insisted Britain was on its way to “living with Covid.”

The prime minister argued that efforts to “evacuate” the latest variant worked amid signs that the brutal wave was already slowing – but warned that the NHS was still under considerable pressure and called on people to receive relief.

During a visit to the vaccination clinic in Uxbridge, he poured cold water on rumors that lateral flow tests could soon cease to be free, and said they would remain “as long as necessary.”

And he eased his optimism by emphasizing that ministers would be guided by the “science” of whether the seven-day quarantine could be broken again without causing another deadly increase in infections.

The government and NHS leaders seem to be increasingly confident that the Omicron wave will not overwhelm services.

Another 141,472 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported yesterday, but that number dropped on the fifth day in a row and the rate of increase seems to have slowed sharply.

Official figures show that hospitalizations are slowing across the country – an average of 2,000 are received every day in England, half of last January’s maximum – and are already declining in London, the first region to hit Omicron.

The number of patients on the ventilators has also not changed and the overall occupancy is not higher than in the winter before the pandemic broke out.

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