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Major infectious diseases – England’s update, week 6

A new week, a new update. TL&DR: Not much change – Covid increases but perhaps not as fast as expected, Scarlet fever is still a problem, but flu and RSV are continuing on a downward trajectory. Norovirus cases are very high again.


Following the recent trend, the Covid numbers are rising in England and in Scotland. The rise in hospitalisation is perhaps not as fast as I expected last week, so hopefully, the wave will be self-limiting.

Looking at the age structure of reported cases, the fastest increase is in 15-19 year-olds and 75-84 and 85+. But all age classes (except 0-14 yo) are increasing.

Deaths typically lag cases by 2-3 weeks, so I expect the increase to translate here soon. I started a new wave for comparison with the previous ones, but this graph will probably require more tuning.

Note that the last 7 data points (red crosses) will likely be revised upwards.


As expected, the flu numbers are decreasing, although – again as expected – the decline is slowing down. The season might still surprise us, but I do not expect a significant outbreak here this year.


Similar to influenza, the RSV season seems to be largely over. The decline is perhaps not as fast as one would wish for, but there is nothing unusual here and we should soon see very small numbers.

Scarlet fever

High levels continue, compared to pre-pandemic years. I expected the numbers to start picking up a bit (following the pre-pandemic trends) but the number of cases seems to be pretty stable. I do not expect them to drop significantly, but neither expect a large increase.


The Norovirus cases are up again. The report says they are “within the overall historical range reported in the decade before the COVID-19 pandemic.” But they are well above the 95% confidence interval based on the last 5 seasons.

The report again puts this increase onto increase reporting for 65+ year-olds. This cannot be simply due to a sudden increase in reporting efficiency but instead due to the spread in the older population, perhaps care homes or hospitals.

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