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Coronavirus infections continue to grow exponentially in England


Coronavirus infections continue to grow exponentially in England

  • 08/07/2021
  • Health & Social Care Research, Infectious diseases

Imperial's latest REACT study date reveals that the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in England is continuing to rise rapidly, recently doubling every six days.

Based on home swab tests taken by over 47,000 people between 24 June and 5 July, around 1 in 170 people had the virus during this period, or 0.59% of the population. This is four times higher than the study’s previous report when 0.15% of people were infected, or 1 in 670, as of 7 June.

These interim findings from Imperial College London show that the prevalence of infection has risen substantially in all age groups under 75. The biggest rise was seen in secondary school-aged children (aged 13-17) where infections were eight times higher than previous findings, with around 1 in 70 infected.

The epidemic has grown in all parts of the country but most notably in London, where infections rose by eight-fold. Although rates of infection were three times lower in fully vaccinated people under the age of 65 compared to unvaccinated people, both of these groups saw a similar proportionate rise in infections.

Professor Paul Elliott, director of the REACT programme from Imperial’s School of Public Health, said:

“In spite of the successful rollout of the vaccination programme, we are still seeing rapid growth in infections, especially among younger people. However, it is encouraging to see lower infection prevalence in people who have had both doses of a vaccine. It is therefore essential that as many people as possible take up both vaccine doses when offered.”

These interim findings from the ongoing REal-time Assessment of Community Transmission (REACT-1) programme, led by Imperial and carried out in partnership with Ipsos MORI, are available here in an interim pre-print report and will be submitted for peer-review. The final report from this current testing round will be available later this month.


Article text (excluding photos or graphics) © Imperial College London.

Photos and graphics subject to third party copyright used with permission or © Imperial College London.



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