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Major infectious diseases – England (and Scotland) update, week 9

Another week passed; we are getting closer to Spring, although it is snowing outside my window.

TL&DR: Indicators for all major diseases are going down, except Covid, which is kind of weird.


The number of cases seems to be going slightly down, but the hospitalisation rate is up compared to last week. Additional data (Zoe, ONS) suggest we are getting stuck in a high-level plateau.

Some speculation on the reason why; it could be different age groups responding differently or new variants (XBB!) messing up.

Looking at the age-structured data for England, we see a mix of patterns – steady numbers in some groups (0-19, 65-74, 85+), a slight increase in others (75-84), and a very slow decline in the rest (20-64).

Similarly, Scotland shows differences across age groups – some going up (75+), some down (0-44), and others relatively stable with more variation per weekday.

Influenza, RSV

Not much to see here; for both of these diseases, the number of cases/hospital admissions is down, and the overall shape is similar to pre-pandemic years.

Scarlet fever

The numbers are down again, so my predictions of another wave – as in 2017-18 – are probably wrong. It is possible that all potential cases have already happened in the “big” wave or that changes in behaviour have led to a different contact pattern. In either case, I hope we will continue to see a decline.