APPROXIMATELY 4.5 million Britons have already had a coronavirus, new figures suggest.
This comes from the fact that tests show that 7% of people in England have anti-Covid-19 antibodies – suggesting that they may have already had the virus.
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The ONS Infection Survey provides an overview of infections that occurred from May 11 to 24.
The results show that 6.78% of the 885 people who took blood samples developed antibodies to the virus – roughly one in 15 – or 3.7 million in England or 4.5 million in the United Kingdom.
In addition to antibody testing, swab tests – which detect who currently has the virus – have been performed.
Swabs were taken from 18,913 people and revealed that 0.24% of them had a coronavirus at the time of the test, between May 11 and 24, which equates to 133,000 people nationwide.
There have been around 54,000 new infections per week during this period – which means the epidemic is still “relatively stable,” according to the ONS.
Figures only cover private households and do not include those in hospitals, nursing homes or other establishments where infection rates are expected to be higher.
Among those who tested positive, 21% reported experiencing symptoms on the day of their test.
He suggests that almost 80% of people may have been asymptomatic during the test.
But experts who conducted the survey, which was released today, said the figure would likely be closer to 70%.
Professor Sarah Walker, of the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the University of Oxford, told reporters that this may be due to the fact that people recovered from the symptoms at the time of the test.
Speaking at a press conference, she said, “We can detect the virus before people know it, or it can take three or four days before they coughed, but by the time they passed a test, the cough was gone.
“We think the 30% is a more reliable response – not only at that time, but around that – 30% had symptoms, so 70% did not. “
Based on the results of people tested since the start of the study, which began on April 26, the NSO estimates that there has been 0.10 new infections per 100 people for a week.
This equates to an average of 54,000 positive cases per week for people living in private residential households in England.
The ONS said the change in this figure from the results of the survey published last week is “relatively small”.
“It must be interpreted that the number of new infections in England is relatively stable,” said the ONS.
The ONS survey also found that 6.78 percent of the 885 people tested had developed antibodies to the virus in their blood.
People were asked if they had experienced a range of possible symptoms on the day they were tested.
During the study, almost 3% of those who reported experiencing one or more symptoms of Covid-19 tested positive.
The percentage of people who tested positive for Covid-19 was higher for those who reported having a specific cough or fever, or loss of taste or smell on the day of the test than for any other symptom.
Of those who reported these specific symptoms, 6.74% also tested positive for the bug.
This compares to an estimate of 0.38% of those who did not have the three main symptoms of coronavirus.
Differences at work
The ONS has stated that it finds no evidence of differences in the proportions of men or women who test positive for Covid-19.
But he found that there were big differences when it came to whether people worked at home or in the community.
Health care workers in contact with patients and social workers in contact with residents were found to have higher positive test rates than people not working in these roles.
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Although those who work outside the home have higher positive test rates than those who work at home, the data was found.
He also found that, while those with symptoms were more likely to test positive than those who did not, among those in the study who were previously positive for Covid-19, 21% reported symptoms on the day of the test.
The analysis was carried out by the ONS in partnership with the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester, Public Health England and the Wellcome Trust.
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