The ongoing COVID-19 wave has the potential to significantly grow, with the ONS estimating a 4.3% virus prevalence in England. One expert warns that the JN.1 wave might surpass the March 2022 surge.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the COVID-19 saga, Professor Christina Pagel, Professor of Operational Research, Clinical Operational Research Unit, University College London, sheds light on the latest findings from the ONS COVID Winter Infection Survey in her insightful substack blog.

The current landscape

According to Professor Pagel, โ€œthis wave has only just started... and it has a lot of potential to grow significantly bigger.โ€ The gravity of this statement becomes apparent as we juxtapose it with the strain the NHS is enduring, compounded by escalating hospital admissions.

She clarifies that adjustments are necessary in the ONS Winter Infection Survey due to the lower sensitivity of LFD tests compared to PCRs, aiming to provide a more accurate estimate of the actual virus prevalence.

In Professor Pagelโ€™s words, โ€œbecause LFDs are less sensitive than PCRs... you need to do some modelled adjustments to estimate how much actual virus is circulating.โ€ The UKHSAโ€™s recent estimates indicate that 4.3% of people in England are currently grappling with the virus.


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