Study confirms omicron reinfections
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Real-time Assessment of Community Transmission findings, Round 17
Funded by the Department of Health and Social Care in England
65% of the infected said they had already previously tested positive for Covid
Rapid transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has led to the highest ever recorded case incidence levels in many countries around the world.
RT-PCR test results, self-administered throat and nose swabs
Randomly-selected participants in England, n = 100,607
Ages 5 years and over
Data were collected between 5 and 20 January 2022
Temporal, socio-demographic and geographical spread of the virus
Viral loads and viral genome sequence data for positive swabs.
Swab positivity was 4.41%
Three-fold higher than in December 2021 in England
1,406 sequenced positive swabs to 16 January 2022
1392 (99.0%) were Omicron
Including 6 (0.43%) cases of BA.2 sub-lineage
14 (1.0%) were Delta
Within round 17
Prevalence was decreasing overall,
but increasing in children aged 5 to 17 years
75 years and older, 2.43%
6+ household, OR 1.66
Urban vs rural areas OR 1.24
Most vs least deprived areas OR 1.33
In adults who received three vs two vaccine doses
Higher Ct values (lower viral load) in rounds 15 and 16
but not in round 17
The distributions of Ct values were similar in unvaccinated and vaccinated children aged 17 years and below in round 15, round 16 and round 17.
Prevalence in those shielding
In those not shielding to 4.61%
Unprecedented levels of infection with SARS-CoV-2 in England in January 2022
Almost complete replacement of Delta by Omicron
Vaccination (including the booster campaign) remains the mainstay of the defence
given the high levels of protection against hospitalisations.
However, further measures beyond vaccination may be required if the very high rates of Omicron infection persist,
Dr. Hans Kluge, WHO, Europe
Between vaccination and natural immunity through infection,
Omicron offers plausible hope for stabilization and normalization
But it’s dangerous to assume that Omicron will be the last variant or that we are in the endgame.
On the contrary, globally, the conditions are ideal for more variants to emerge.
It’s true that we will be living with Covid for the foreseeable future
a preventable and treatable disease