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Major infectious diseases in England – Week 3 update

TL&DR Major infectious diseases, RSV, flu, Strep A, and even Norovirus are back to their “normal” seasonal pattern, although numbers remain higher than pre-pandemic. COVID is going down, but I expect another wave to start in a couple of weeks’ time.


The rate at which COVID cases and hospitalisation numbers are declining is slowing down and the virus is not disappearing. I expect that this is a precursor of another wave.

As discussed in the previous posts, overlaying the number of deaths in each omicron wave (with some additional scaling for the two early ones) shows a remarkable similarity of each wave. The most recent data seem to follow the same pattern:

As always the last 203 data points should be ignored. If the same pattern follows again, I expect the current wave ending in about 3 weeks (day 70 on the plot above) when the deaths will start climbing up again, with a peak about a month afterwards.

So, expect a peak in deaths around April-May, with cases peaking a couple of weeks earlier.


Flu cases are dropping down very fast an indeed the proportion positive is lower than in a similar 2019-20 season. Expect the last point to be revised upwards, with a possible tailing off, but the flu season is largely past.


Very similar pattern to flu, RSV cases are decreasing and the overall pattern is very similar to the pre-pandemic years. Expect further decline and the effective end of the epidemic.

Scarlet fever

The scarlet fever infections are significantly higher this year than in previous ones, but again they seem to follow a similar seasonal pattern.

After an usually end-of-the-year peak, the numbers dropped over Christmas and New Year, but appear to be peaking up again. Expect a further increase, perhaps not the same levels as recently, with a peak in week 11, end of March, beginning of April.

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