Covid rates are falling according to “almost all indicators” but there were still 152 cases recorded across the North East in the week leading to November 10.
This comes as top medics at the UK Health Security Agency warn of the risk of the potentially lethal RSV virus in children under-5. RSV positivity among those tested is 10.9%, but in the under 5s that rises to 36.3%.
That means that more than one in three of youngsters tested for RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) has been found to have it. RSV can cause breathing difficulties and conditions such as bronchiolitis.
However, when it comes to Covid, a Winter “wave” has yet to materialise, and case rates have fallen even from the low levels seen in October. Even County Durham – which is the worst affected area of the region – had a case rate of just 9.4 per 100,000 people in the week to November 10.
This chimes with the message from the UKHSA., which reported this week that “Covid-19 case rates have continued to decrease across almost all indicators”. The agency also said: “The overall COVID-19 hospital admission rate is 2.84 per 100,000 population, a decrease from 3.45 per 100,000 in the previous week.
“ICU and high dependency units (HDU) admission rates for this week’s report remained low and stable, at 0.12 per 100,000 population. Hospital admission rates have continued to decrease in most age groups.”
This is how cases were distributed across the North East over the week to November 10 – with comparison to the week before:
County Durham – 50 cases, down nine. Case rate was 9.4 per 100,000 people.
Gateshead – 15 cases, down three. Case rate was 7.4 per 100,000 people.
Newcastle – 32 cases, the same as in the week earlier. Case rate was 10.4 per 100,000 people
North Tyneside – 15 cases, up two. Case rate was 7.2 per 100,000 people.
Northumberland – 25 cases, down 11. Case rate was 7.7 per 100,000 people.
South Tyneside – 9 cases, up one. Case rate was 6 per 100,000 people.
Sunderland – 8 cases, down 11. Case rate was 2.9 per 100,000 people.
Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, consultant epidemiologist for Immunisation at UKHSA said: “Our weekly surveillance shows flu levels remain generally stable, although we are now starting to see a slight increase in cases among young children. We will continue to monitor these rates closely as we approach the winter period, where we expect to see a rise in prevalence.
“This week, once again we see a decrease in Covid-19 activity. We remind people that if you are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness, you should avoid mixing with others where possible to stop the spread of viruses like flu and Covid-19.”
The push to book your flu and Covid-19 vaccinations if eligible continues. The .Covid vaccination programme in the North East will continue until December 15. Dr Janet Walker, medical director for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) said: “Our winter vaccination programme has already seen more than 581,568 people receive their COVID-19 booster – more than 45.7% of those eligible.
“However, there are now only a few weeks left to get protected before the Christmas holidays as the seasonal offer for COVID vaccines will come to an end on 15 December. The Covid-19 vaccine continues to provide the best possible protection against serious illness and hospitalisation from Coronavirus so, if you are at risk, please ‘be wise, immunise’, and make the most of the weeks ahead by booking an appointment while there is still time.”
To book an appointment, you can use the National Booking Service, the NHS app or call 119. If you are housebound or immunosuppressed, you can call 0191 486 2001. There will be some walk-in clinics, see here for details.
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