By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 24 March 2022 • 22:56
WHO advises prioritising investigation of new BA.2 Omicron variant. image: creative commons
The number of Covid-19 cases in the UK rose by nearly 17 percent, with the rise of infections thought to be due to the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions and the higher transmissibility of the Omicron variant.
Data released by the ONS shows that in 5.6 percent of all deaths in England in February 2022, Covid-19 was the primary cause. These figures only account for those who died within 28 days of being diagnosed with the disease.
By comparison dementia, the leading cause of death, accounted for 11.6 percent of fatalities. In Wales Ischaemic heart disease, brought on by narrowing of the arteries, was the leading cause of death, accounting for 10.8 per cent of fatalities.
An infections survey, also undertaken by the ONS, points to between 98 and 99 percent of the UK’s population having some level of anti-bodies. Although it is not clear what the antibody threshold is, having some antibodies is known to provide a level of protection that has reduced the serious of infections as it has reduced the number of fatalities.
Sarah Crofts from ONS said in a statement: “The vast majority of the UK population now have antibodies against COVID-19, hopefully protecting most from developing severe symptoms.
SARS C0V3 variants have become increasingly resistant to available drugs, with doctors having to work by trial and error.
Sarah Crofts from ONS said: ”Replicating in the person for so long, with their immune system unable to fight it off.
Study author Albert Ko in a statement “The threat of antiviral resistance is a critical concern, given the rate that the virus introduces mutations in the genome.
”A big question is whether this will happen with the other drugs, paxlovid and molnupiravir, we are using to treat our patients.”
Although the Covid-19 death rate has dropped to 1 in 20, indications are that the virus is spreading once more.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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