One in 20 people contracted Covid at Christmas, data shows

Huge spike in UK Covid cases amid fears over ‘Kraken’ variant: One in 20 people was infected at Christmas after cases DOUBLED in December as the NHS battled ‘twindemic’.

One in 20 people contracted Covid over the Christmas holidays, experts believe.

Cases are estimated to have doubled in December, just as the XBB.1.5 “Kraken” variant began sweeping the UK. Analysts say nearly 3 million people had the virus during the festival week, reflecting levels seen during the summer, when experts wanted pandemic-era restrictions like masks to return.

Experts fear the strain, believed to be the most communicable yet, will accelerate the winter wave in the UK and weigh even more heavily on the ailing NHS in the coming weeks.

The ailing healthcare system is already being hit by its worst flu outbreak in a decade. The winter pressures have sparked fresh calls for a return of measures to protect the NHS.

Cases are estimated to have doubled in December, just as the XBB.1.5 “Kraken” variant began sweeping the UK. Analysts say nearly 3 million people had the virus during the festival week

Cases are estimated to have doubled in December, just as the XBB.1.5 “Kraken” variant began sweeping the UK. Analysts say nearly 3 million people had the virus during the festival week

Michelle Bowen, head of health surveillance dissemination and strategy at the ONS, said: “Infections have been on the rise across the UK.

“England, Wales and Scotland have cases at their highest since July 2022 and Northern Ireland at their highest since March 2022.

“Across the English regions, infections have increased in the North East, Yorkshire and The Humber, East Midlands, East of England, South East and South West. Cases have also increased in those aged 2 years through sixth grade and those aged 50 and over.

“We will continue to monitor the data closely.”

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The graph shows the weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 people for Covid (red) and flu (blue). UK Health Security Agency surveillance figures showed Covid admissions feeling down from 12 to 11 per 100,000 people, while admissions fell to 8 per 100,000 in the week ending January 1

The graph shows the weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 people for Covid (red) and flu (blue). UK Health Security Agency surveillance figures showed Covid admissions feeling down from 12 to 11 per 100,000 people, while admissions fell to 8 per 100,000 in the week ending January 1

NHS data shows an average of 995 people infected with Covid were admitted to hospitals across England in the week to January 2) and has been trending down since

NHS data shows an average of 995 people infected with Covid were admitted to hospitals across England in the week to January 2) and has been trending down since

Figures from the Sanger Institute, one of the UK's largest Covid surveillance centres, show that 4 per cent of cases in the week to December 17 were caused by XBB.1.5 (shown in purple, lower right corner).

Figures from the Sanger Institute, one of the UK’s largest Covid surveillance centres, show that 4 per cent of cases in the week to December 17 were caused by XBB.1.5 (shown in purple, lower right corner).

In other health news…

The nurses’ union, which is orchestrating chaotic NHS-wide strikes, tells the government it would meet “halfway” to suggest it would accept a 10% pay rise

EXCLUSIVE: NHS blood supplies are running low as hospitals are told to prepare for a yellow alert that could see more surgeries cancelled

Strep A has already killed MORE children this year than during the last bad wave – as the UK death toll rises to 37

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-11606391/One-20-people-infected-Covid-Christmas-data-shows.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 One in 20 people contracted Covid at Christmas, data shows

Emma Colton

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