The all-important R rate for coronavirus is now over one in all four UK nations, according to a new study. The reproduction number is 1.3 in England, 1.2 in Scotland and Wales, and 1.1 in Northern Ireland based on unofficial data from a Government-funded app in which users self-report COVID-19 symptoms.
The study’s latest prevalence figures estimate that 35,248 people currently have coronavirus and are symptomatic – a rise of over 10,000 cases since last week.
The figure last week was 22,040.
It also suggests the UK averaged 3,610 new cases every day in the two weeks leading up to September 6 – this is a significant increase from 1,974 only a week ago.
Incidence rates are currently higher in the North of England, the Midlands and Northern Ireland, while the South West and the East of England have the lowest levels, according to the data.
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What is R value?
R0, or R naught, refers to the average number of people that one sick person goes on to infect in a group that has no immunity.
Scientists use it to predict how far and how fast a disease will spread, and the number can also inform policy decisions about how to contain an outbreak.
A given pathogen’s R value changes with place and time and is dependent upon cirumstances – for example, the national lockdown earlier this year caused the R rate to drop.
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What does a R of more than 1 mean?
A R rate of more than one means the virus is spreading exponentially within the community.
An R value of one means the average person who gets that disease will transmit it to one other person; in that case, the disease is spreading at a stable rate.
An R of more than one means the disease spreads exponentially – so for example, if the R rate is 2, this means for each one person with the disease, two more people will become infected.
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Which areas have high R rates?
A spokesperson for the app said: “The Covid Symptom Study app’s watchlist this week sees three regions in North Ireland on the watchlist – Belfast, Lisburn and Castlereagh, and Ards and North Down.
“There are four regions in Scotland in the top ten this week, all of which are local to the Glasgow area.
“In England, the regions on the watchlist are all major cities in the North of England; Bolton, Manchester and Liverpool which is in line with the higher incidence rates in those areas.”
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The app estimates a percentage of each local authority’s population who have COVID-19 and are displaying symptoms, but it is based on users who voluntarily download it and report symptoms.
The app has been downloaded by almost four million people.
It does not indicate the number of recorded cases of coronavirus, but predicts where they might be expected to appear based on the number of people reporting symptoms in a specific areas.
Funded by the UK Government, it was launched by health science company Zoe with scientific analysis provided by King’s College London, and it has received £2million in funding.
Said to be the world’s largest ongoing study of coronavirus, its aim is to identify places where cases appear to be increasing, helping authorities and the Government see where help is needed to curb the spread most.
Source:Daily Express :: UK Feed