A recent increase in UK hospital admissions for patients with Corona virus infection covid-19 this summer has prompted experts to warn that Britain is in the thick of it the fifth wave with coronavirus infections caused by Sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 with Omicron.
Life has largely returned to normal since the final social distancing restrictions were lifted on February 24, with most forgetting about masks, distancing and hand sanitizer as the national focus turns to Partygatewar in Ukraine and cost of living crisis.
But the country saw a 43 percent spike in cases in early June, apparently triggered by people coming together to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee over a four-day weekend, and the number of cases has risen steadily from there over the past two months, only recently starting show signs of decline.
Health chiefs have warned that the new outbreak will have a significant impact on NHS “already on its knees” and expressed concern about the return of major live events such as Notting Hill Carnival and the Edinburgh Festival, which could become super-crowded venues if precautions are not taken.
The most recent major surge in cases occurred in December and January, caused by Omicron, which spread rapidly around the world after being discovered in southern Africa in late November, again threatening Christmas celebrations and prompting an expansion of vaccines.
Omicron proved less serious but more transmissible than its predecessors Alpha and Delta, with England’s total daily number of pandemic cases soaring to a peak of 218,724 on January 4, according to the UK Health Agency, before gradually falling.
Since then, only people over the age of 75 have been offered repeat shots, which means that immunity can start to wane and push back calls for a new booster to be offered wider this fall.
“If we’re going to go into another wave, maybe that needs to be reconsidered,” suggested John Roberts, one of the lead analysts at the Covid Actuaries group.
What health officials had to learn on the fly when Omicron arrived last winter was how this variant differed from the original Covid strain.
While World Health Organization According to estimates, it took two days to two weeks for people infected with the first strain of the coronavirus to show symptoms, but Omicron was found to incubate much faster, closer to three to five days.
“Recent analysis by the UK Health Agency suggests that the window between exposure and infectivity may be shorter for the Omicron variant than for the Delta variant,” the UK health secretary said at the time. Sajid Javid This was announced by the House of Commons on December 6.
This explained why the strain was able to spread so quickly and successfully, as its short incubation period gave victims a shorter period of time between suspected exposure to the virus and an exacerbation, making it less likely that a positive lateral flow test result would be recorded in time to warn others, go to isolation and prevent transmission of infection.
Shorter incubation period “makes the virus much, much, much harder to control”Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Health Center, noted in Atlantic in the same month.
Another characteristic of Omicron that made it potentially harder to detect than earlier strains was that its symptoms were somewhat different from the three main indicators we should be looking out for in 2020: cough, fever and loss of consciousness taste or smell.
Early warning signs of the new variant, by contrast, included a scratchy throat, lower back pain, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and fatigue, sneezing and night sweats.
Cases Omicron analyzed in Britain showed that patients usually recovered in an average of five days to a week, although some symptoms, such as cough and fatigue, were likely to last longer.
The shortness of breath experienced by some patients often lasts for 13 days after other symptoms have resolved.
Covid patients are thought to be contagious to others from about two days before they start showing their first symptoms and for about 10 days after that.
If you think you have symptoms related to the coronavirus, then current NHS advice – take a lateral flow test and isolate at home for five days if you get a positive result to avoid passing it on to others (you must stay away from those who may be particularly vulnerable due to their age or existing illness for 10 days) .
If you do have to go out in public, it’s recommended to wear a face mask, avoid crowded places, and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
If you are concerned about your symptoms or think they are getting worse, you are encouraged to visit 111.nhs.ukcall 111 or call your GP.