• Thursday, Oct 01, 2020
  • Last Update : 08:40 pm

Researchers: Nearly 6% of people in England may have had Covid-19

  • Published at 07:34 pm August 13th, 2020
UK coronavirus UK
File Photo: A woman wears a surgical mask as she sits in Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain March 6, 2020 Reuters

Healthcare and care workers were most likely to have been previously infected

Nearly 6% of people in England were likely infected with Covid-19 during the peak of the pandemic, researchers studying the prevalence of infections said on Thursday, millions more people than have tested positive for the disease.

A total of 313,798 people has tested positive for Covid-19 in Britain, 270,971 of which have been in England, or just 0.5% of the English population.

However, a study which tested more than 100,000 people across England for antibodies to the coronavirus showed that nearly 6% of people had them, suggesting that 3.4 million people had previously contracted Covid-19 by the end of the June.

The results are consistent with other surveys, such as those conducted by the Office for National Statistics, which suggest higher levels of Covid-19 in the community during the pandemic than implied by daily testing statistics.

Healthcare and care workers were most likely to have been previously infected. Prevalence of infections appeared to be highest in London, where 13% of people had antibodies, while minority ethnic groups were two to three times as likely to have had Covid-19 compared to white people.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had early on hailed antibody tests as a potential game-changer in tackling the pandemic. But while helpful for population studies, scientists say the margin of error for the tests makes them unreliable for use at the individual level.

The researchers also cautioned that although antibody tests were helpful for running such large-scale studies, they were not a guarantee of future immunity.

"There are still many unknowns with this new virus, including the extent to which the presence of antibodies offers protection against future infections," said Graham Cooke, research lead at Imperial.

"Using the finger-prick tests suitable for large scale home testing has given us clearest insight yet into the spread of the virus in the country and who has been at greatest risk."

50
50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail