COVID peaks for second time this year

February 11, 2022

This article has not been updated recently

LONDON, UK. According to ZOE COVID Study incidence figures, in total there are currently 203,973 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID in the UK on average, based on PCR and LF test data from up to three days ago [*]. An increase of 4.5% from 195,068 reported last week (Graph 1). 

In the vaccinated population (at least two doses), there are currently 77,954 new daily symptomatic cases in the UK. An increase of 9% from 71,477 new daily cases reported last week (Graph 2).

The UK R value is estimated to be around 1.1 and regional R values are; England, 1.0, Wales, 1.1, Scotland, 1.1. (Table 1). 

In terms of prevalence, on average 1 in 25 people in the UK currently have symptomatic COVID. In the regions, England, 1 in 24. Wales, 1 in 35. Scotland, 1 in 36. (Table 1).

New daily symptomatic cases continue to rise in all regions (Graph 3).

Cases are now slowing in all age groups, apart from the 18-34 group where cases continue to increase, and the older, more vulnerable 75+ age group who are slightly increasing. Cases are slowing in the 0-18 and 35-74 year old age groups (Graph 4).

According to the data, ZOE estimates that 39.5% of people experiencing new “cold-like“ symptoms are likely to have symptomatic COVID-19, meaning any new ‘cold-like’ symptoms are more likely to be a cold than COVID. (Graph 5).

According to most recent ONS reports compared with ZOE COVID Study reports, cases continue to increase at a similar rate (Graph 6).

According to the ZOE COVID Study, reinfection rates of confirmed cases are estimated to currently be around 7% based on an average of the last two weeks.

The ZOE COVID Study incidence figures (new symptomatic cases) are based on reports from up to a million weekly contributors and the proportion of newly symptomatic users who have received positive swab tests. The latest survey figures were based on data from 50,264 recent swab tests done on symptomatic cases in the two weeks up to 7th February 2022. 

Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE COVID Study app, comments on the latest data:

”Although the true rate of new cases (unlike the government dashboard) is currently far too high, it is somewhat reassuring to see signs of rates slowing down and it looks like we’ve now passed the second big peak of the year, with hospitalisations, ICU cases and deaths also continuing to fall. Cases need to decline more among older and more vulnerable age groups before we can start to relax, and it’s still too early to tell the effects of Long COVID as a result of an Omicron infection or the effect of the super infectious BA.2 variant that continues to increase nationally. Despite the Government’s hasty decision to end all restrictions this month, and the message this sends, this does not mean the pandemic is over and we should all try to be good citizens by continuing to self-isolate when ill and protect ourselves and others from what can be a really nasty infection.”


Graph 1. The ZOE COVID Study UK incidence figures total number of daily new cases over time.

Graph 2. The ZOE COVID Study UK incidence figures results over time; total number of new cases and new cases in fully vaccinated

Graph 3. Incidence rate by region

Graph 4. Incidence by age group 

KEY:

Blue = 0-17 years old

Orange = 18-34 years old

Green = 35-54 years old

Red = 55-74 years old

Purple = 75-119 years old


Graph 5. Comparison of new onset of cold-like illness and new onset of COVID with respiratory symptoms

Graph 6. Comparison of reported case prevalence across different surveillance studies in England: ONS, ZOE COVID Study, REACT



Table 1. Incidence (daily new symptomatic cases)[*], R values and prevalence regional breakdown table 

Map of UK prevalence figures

NOTES TO EDITORS

To request an interview with Professor Tim Spector, please contact Louise on louise@joinzoe.com or Victoria Vazquez on victoria.vazquez@kcl.ac.uk 

Methodology

[*] Note that incidence estimates by NHS region are calculated separately from the UK nations and  they don’t necessarily add up to the total for England.

The ZOE COVID Study UK Infection Survey estimates the number of current COVID-19 positive cases in the community based on the information logged by users in the app and the results from the swab testing programme. It identifies differences in numbers within the regions throughout the UK, and tracks the change in estimated cases over time. It is the largest survey of its kind in the UK. We estimated from a sub-study of app users with antibodies after the first wave that the asymptomatic rate is around 19%, which should be added when comparing to general surveys like ONS. The paper is live on the Journal of Infection: https://www.journalofinfection.com/article/S0163-4453(20)30653-8/fulltext. Recent data suggests the rate of asymptomatic disease may have increased however. 

This analysis for incidence data requires swab testing, which was kindly provided by the Department of Health and Social Care Testing is happening in Northern Ireland, but the number of participants is too few to generate an accurate estimate. These figures exclude care homes as there is not enough data from the app to estimate this population. We are not capturing most hospital acquired infections. 

ZOE

ZOE is a personalised nutrition company using data and science at a scale not previously imagined to give each of us control of our health for life. 

ZOE runs the world's largest nutrition-science study to understand the complex relationship between food and health. ZOE's science is rooted in the discovery that we all respond differently to the same food, and that our long-term health is deeply linked to our unique gut bacteria. By combining our science with artificial intelligence, we make truly personalized nutrition a reality today.

Our program empowers our members with deep insight into their bodies, instantly available nutrition advice tailored to their biology, and compassionate support. With ZOE, they can reach their best health and healthiest weight for life. Helping people feel better is at the heart of everything we do.

ZOE’s unique, data-driven approach is increasingly placing inflammation and the immune system at the center of our health. That's why, when the pandemic hit in 2019, we took everything we'd learned and launched the ZOE COVID Study. With 4.7m contributors globally, it's the world's largest citizen-science study of COVID, responsible for dozens of critical scientific discoveries.

The ZOE COVID Study

The ZOE COVID Study app is a not-for-profit initiative that was launched at the end of March 2020 to support vital COVID-19 research. The app was launched by ZOE with scientific analysis provided by King’s College London. 

With over 4.7 million contributors globally, the Study is the world’s largest ongoing study of COVID-19 and is led by ZOE Co-Founder, Tim Spector.

In May 2020, the ZOE COVID Study commenced the daily swab testing programme provided by UKHSA Test and Trace. 

The ZOE COVID Study has so far recorded: 

  • Over 480 million health reports
  • Over 22 million tests (PCR and LFT)
  • Over 830,000 infections (confirmed by PCR or LFT)
  • Over 1.5 million vaccines and 3.9 million doses 

Visit the ZOE COVID Study data page for more data: https://covid.joinzoe.com/data 

The app is downloadable from here: https://api.covidradar.org/launch/ 


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