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Major infectious diseases – England’s update, week 5

TL&DR: The Covid wave continues its upward trend, and Scarlet Fever is still a problem (and potentially increasing). Influenza and RSV are on the decline. A big jump in Norovirus reported cases, apparently due to an increase in reporting for those over 65s.

Similar picture has just been reported for Denmark:


Covid cases continue to go up in both England and (less so, at least so far) Scotland.

I am a bit suspicious of Scottish data, as I suspect reporting issues might keep the numbers low. But there is a clear signal in almost all age groups, except the youngest ones.

Looking at other reported data, England saw a continuing trend in both reports and in hospitalisation over the last 3 weeks. The rise is perhaps not as fast as in the previous wave.


Following quite a severe season, the cases are down, but seem to plateau now. Hopefully, we will not see a “long tail” (as in 2019/20) and the season will soon be over.


The numbers are again down, almost tracing the outbreak path from the pre-pandemic years. Hopefully, RSV will now keep the trend down and, as with flu, we will see a return to pre-pandemic “normal”.

Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever continues at high numbers, with a substantial correction upwards compared to data last week (marked by open circles below) – this is a typical behaviour whereby reports of older cases keep coming in.

I expect the numbers to stabilise or perhaps even go up a bit in the next few months, with the peak around week 12 of the year (late March).

Given the impact of the late-2022 peak on the population immunity, I do not expect the numbers to increase significantly.


A screenshot from the UKHSA, shows a massive increase in week 4. The UKHSA report suggests that this is due to improved reporting for cases in those over 65 years olds. This suggests that the cases so far have been under-reported and highlights the magnitude of the current outbreak.