Another 92,000 Covid cases reported England On Monday, a sharp rise from the previous day, after injuries were included in the statistics for the first time.
Previous daily Covid case numbers – which reflect the number of new infections captured by testing – did not include cases of reinfection. England, Scotland or Northern IrelandAlthough figures for Wales did, provided positive tests were more than 42 days apart. In other words, most people were counted only once even if they contracted Covid multiple times.
However, as the epidemic continues, the No re-infections in case data lead to concerns, with experts noting that previous infections offer little protection against Omicron, while – two years into the epidemic – there is a larger group of people who have had Covid at least once before.
The scientists note that it is also important to include re-infection in order to understand the diffusion dynamics of the elusive immune variants that emerge, while also shedding light on why some individuals become re-infected again and again.
“This is likely to be a combination of risk – due to exposure – as well as the inherent potential for infection, once exposed,” said Professor Roland Kao, an epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh. “We need to know these things in order to better target interventions of different types – how private, for example, workplaces are likely to be, and how certain individuals will be exposed to more risks.”
The new approach means that re-infections will now be included in the daily Covid case numbers for England and Northern Ireland, with such episodes identified as a positive sample at least 90 days after the last – a gap that captures the majority of cases but guarantees those who simply shed the virus for a while. Longer after injury was excluded from the data.
While data from the UK Health Security Agency It indicates that some re-infections may occur in a shorter period of time, and this is a relatively small percentage of possible re-infections.
The Guardian understands that data on cases in Scotland will also include reinfection in the coming weeks, while case data in Wales in the coming weeks will switch to using the 90-day episode duration.
Under the current mixed definitions in use, 92,368 new cases of Covid were reported in the UK on Monday, up from 69,007 the day before, with 81,720 cases reported in England alone compared to 59,559 on Sunday before reinfections were included.
The Guardian understands that re-infections were not originally included in the daily case data across all UK countries because at the start of the pandemic it was not clear if they had occurred and, if re-infection, what was the interval between infections. While infection numbers were again tracked by public health authorities, It was published in the reportsSo far, the daily case numbers have not included such episodes.
Whereas the inclusion of cases again means the risk of death – the proportion of people who are reported to have been infected diagnosed With Covid to die – it will fall, Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at the University of Cambridge, warned that the measure remained problematic.
“We have always known that the daily number of reported cases has been much lower than the actual number of infections – the Covid infection survey by the Census Bureau shows that we have to at least double the daily number,” he said.
“Including re-infection would be an improvement, and it would reduce the apparent case fatality rate, but one shouldn’t take this seriously anyway. The case fatality ratio is inevitably an overestimation of the best metric—the death rate from infection, That is, the proportion of infected people who die, whether or not they become confirmed cases.”