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Experts are warning of a spike in Covid infections this winter, as the latest data shows cases are continuing to rise in the UK.
In an update from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) health bosses urged eligible people to come forward for their Covid and flu vaccinations to help limit the spread.
The authority’s latest report stated the overall COVID-19 hospital admission rate was 6.13 people per 100,000 of the population, an increase from 4.36 per 100,000 from an update on September 28.
Intensive care admissions due to Covid also increased – from 0.11 per 100,000 people to 0.2.
Data taken from the UKHSA dashboard reflects the rate at which Covid infections are rising.
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On October 4 there were 2,385 confirmed cases of coronavirus in England – up from 309 on July 4.
And in the week up to October 7, there were a total of 15,797 positive cases of Covid.
As part of the update, Doctor Mary Ramsay – director of public health programmes at the UKHSA, warned that things are expected to get more serious.
She said: “As we enter the colder months and people begin to mix more indoors, we can expect to see further increases in COVID-19 alongside the usual increases we see in other winter respiratory viruses like flu.
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“We are monitoring rates closely and reminding people that when you have respiratory symptoms you should avoid mixing with others, especially those more vulnerable.”
As previously reported, the upturn in Covid cases since the summer has been linked to the arrival of the Eris and Pirola strains of the disease that were first detected in the UK in July and August respectively.
Therefore, it is important people are aware of the common symptoms associated with these strains.
It is widely accepted that both Eris and Pirola will cause symptoms similar to the Omicron variant, from which they mutated.
According to the Zoe Health Study, which tracks Covid symptoms, three of the most common signs of Omicron are:
- A runny nose
Other symptoms could include sneezing, a sore throat, blocked nose, fever and a cough.
If you experience symptoms or test positive the NHS advises staying home and avoiding contact with others for five days if possible – although isolation is no longer mandatory.
As part of the UKHSA update, Dr Ramsay urged people to come forward for their Covid and flu jabs if eligible.
“New UKHSA surveillance published today shows the autumn 2022 COVID-19 booster prevented around 14,400 people having to be hospitalised,” she said.
“This shows clearly the overwhelming benefits for those most vulnerable in getting their COVID-19 jab as soon as possible this autumn.
“Heading into winter the flu vaccine offers the best protection against what can be a very severe illness for the more vulnerable, which includes pregnant women as well as two and three year olds who are all eligible for a free NHS vaccine.
“Tragically every year we see far too many unvaccinated young children severely ill with flu being hospitalised.
“We strongly urge parents and all those eligible, for either COVID-19 and flu vaccines or both, to book today with the NHS or via their GP surgery as soon as possible.”
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