Covid warning: Genetic epidemiology expert spots trending youth epidemic

UK coronavirus cases increase to 6,238

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The data suggests there are “10 times more cases in the under 40s than in the over 60s”. In the past week, symptomatic cases of Covid have jumped from 2,550 daily to 4,608 infected individuals each day. Tim Spector OBE, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, commented on the findings. “The UK picture is changing quickly now. Cases are rising, but not nationwide, it’s very much a regional issue.”

Current hotspots include North Lanarkshire, Scotland, and the North West of England.

“The data highlights that the increase is happening in the younger age groups, suggesting the start of an epidemic in the young,” warned Professor Spector.

“We can’t be too complacent, and we are monitoring things closely,” he added.

Even those who have been vaccinated have been seen to still get infected, albeit in smaller numbers.

The latest ZOE data shows that the current risk of a Covid infection in the unvaccinated population stands at one in 6,710 people.

For those who have received their first Covid jab, the risk of catching Covid falls to every one in 14,503 people.

This risk lowers further following two jabs of the vaccine – one in 34,583.

This dataset is based upon around one million weekly reporters and newly symptomatic users who have received positive swab tests.

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Professor Spector believes restrictions “should continue to soften”, but is against lifting them completely.

“It’s too early to tell if these increases are going to have any impact on hospital admissions or death rate,” he explained.

“It’s sensible to continue measures like working from home as transmission rates are very high in offices,” Professor Spector said.

“I’d also recommend we keep wearing masks on public transport and reduce overcrowding indoors.”

As the increase of coronavirus cases is occurring in pockets across the UK, Professor Spector thinks “flexibility” is key in dealing with local outbreaks.

Meanwhile, he’s a supporter of “letting the rest of the country and economy get back to normal at the same time”.

Where the R number is bigger than one:

  • West Midlands
  • East Midlands
  • North West
  • South West
  • London
  • South East
  • Scotland

The Government confirmed that the number of people testing positive has increased since last week.

However, at present, the number of people admitted to hospital has been on a steady decline.

Furthermore, the number of deaths within the past 28 days of a positive test has also decreased.

These are hopeful figures as the date towards “Freedom Day” nears.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce on June 14 if June 21 will be the end of Covid restrictions.

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