National influenza and COVID-19 report, monitoring coronavirus (COVID-19) activity, seasonal flu and other seasonal respiratory illnesses.
The main points from this week’s national influenza and COVID-19 surveillance report are:
Surveillance indicators suggest that coronavirus (COVID-19) activity at a national level has remained high during week 46, between 9 and 15 November 2020.
Case rates have fallen among those aged 20 to 69 years old. The highest case rates were seen in those aged 20 to 29, with a rate of 362.1 per 100,000 population.
Case rates for those aged 80+ are 245.3 per 100,000 population in week 46, compared to 235.5 in the previous week.
Case rates per 100,000 were highest in Yorkshire and the Humber, North East and West Midlands.
Positivity rates through Pillar 1 (NHS and PHE testing) have increased slightly and decreased slightly through Pillar 2 (community testing).
Positivity rates were highest among those aged 80 and over tested through Pillar 1 (NHS and PHE testing) and in 10 to 19-year-olds tested through Pillar 2 (community testing).
COVID-19 hospital and critical care admission rates continued to increase.
The hospitalisation rate for COVID-19 was 16.74 per 100,000 in week 46 compared to 14.23 per 100,000 in the previous week.
The highest hospital admission rates for COVID-19 were observed in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East
By age group, the highest hospital admission rates continue to be those aged 85 and over.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said:
The highest rate of infections from the last week continues to be seen in the younger generations. Whilst it is encouraging that case rates amongst those aged between 20 to 69 have fallen, they continued to rise in those over 70 who are more at risk of a bad outcome from the virus. The hospital admission rate also increased and was highest in those over 85.
The effect of the current measures does not yet appear in the data, but we should begin to see the impact soon. By mixing with fewer people, we can help to slow the spread of COVID-19 and bring down the number of infections. This in turn will help us to control the virus and save lives.
Flu activity, including GP consultations and hospital admissions, remains low.
Flu vaccine uptake is higher in all groups except pregnant women compared to this time last year. Provisional data suggests uptake rates are:
72.9% in 65+ year olds
37.8% in under 65 years in a clinical risk group
30.8% in pregnant women
45.0% in 2-year-olds
46.8% in 3-year-olds
The first uptake rates for school-age children (Reception to Year 7) and healthcare workers will be published in November.
Dr Vanessa Saliba, Head of Flu, Public Health England said:
‘This winter, more people than ever are being offered a free flu vaccine and it is encouraging to see uptake in 2 to 3-year-olds and those aged 65 and over is higher than ever for this point in the season.
‘There is still time to get vaccinated against flu before it starts circulating in the community. We are urging anyone who is eligible to take up the offer. By getting the jab, you can help protect yourself, your family and the NHS – it will help save lives.’