Covid cases highest in younger children in England

Covid cases highest in younger children in England

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Covid case rates in England are now highest among children aged five to nine, latest weekly surveillance figures reveal.

The data, up to 14 November, shows this younger age group has overtaken older, secondary school aged children for the first time.

In recent months, the 10 to 19 age group maintained the highest rate of infections per 100,000 tested.

It is too soon to say what is behind the change and if it will continue.

In recent weeks, children aged 12 and over have started being offered Covid jabs.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) report shows 723 cases recorded per 100,000 among children aged five to nine.

That’s up week-on-week from 484.5 per 100,000.

The rate for 10 to 19-year-olds is 694.2, up from 571.7.

Covid infections are lowest among the eldest in society – those aged 80-plus – with a weekly rate of 76 per 100,000. But this group has the greatest risk of getting more seriously ill with Covid if they were to catch it, particularly if they are not vaccinated.

Prof Steven Riley, from the UKHSA, said Covid rates continue to increase in those from younger age groups, and hospitalisations remain highest in people aged 85 and over.

“More people than ever are eligible for second and booster doses – and it is as important as ever to get vaccinated or receive a booster jab as soon as you are offered one.

“Socialising indoors in places with poor ventilation increases the risk of infection. Help protect yourself and loved ones by opening windows and doors to ventilate the room when meeting people inside. Wash your hands regularly and wear a mask in crowded places. If you have any Covid-19 symptoms, stay at home and get a PCR test as soon as possible,” he advised.

The UK administered 384,421 doses of a booster vaccine on Wednesday, according to the latest UK government figures.

Overall nearly 13.9m people have had a third dose of a Covid jab – about 24% of the population over 12 years old.

More than 50.6m people – or 88.1% of the UK population over 12 – have had one jab and more than 46m people – or 80.1% of people aged 12 and over – have had two vaccine doses.

The UK has reported 46,807 coronavirus cases in the last 24-hour period.

There were also 199 deaths within 28 days of a positive test recorded.

Meanwhile, levels of influenza remain low, but people who are eligible for a flu shot are being urged to get one as a precaution.

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