Covid-19 now endemic in UK?

Yesterday, the ZOE symptom tracker reported 212,162 new infections. Yet another increase, day-on-day for the last week. Last Friday, the ONS reported >2.6m infections for the previous week. Yet another increase and equivalent to 1 in 26 across the nation or about 4% of the whole population.

Yet there are medics (but not Independent_SAGE) still saying that the virus has moved to being endemic in the UK.

“Endemicity has been one of the most misappropriated and misunderstood concepts during the pandemic. It means roughly constant levels of infection, but says nothing about how high those levels are and how severe their impact: the common cold is endemic, but so too is malaria. Smallpox was endemic, until eradicated. Endemic does not mean benign. While we fail to take measures to mitigate the pandemic, we will continue to suffer a high disease burden. Despite what politicians say, the pandemic is not over. And while Covid may have been forgotten by some, it is far from gone.”

Kit Yates is director of the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath and author of The Maths of Life and Death

Yes, Omicron appears to be less deadly than Delta. But just look at S Korea, or even Hong Kong which now has some of the highest infection and fatality rates in the world (due to an immunologically naive population with very few of the elderly fully vaccinated). This is STILL a deadly disease.

And the UK (and others) have abandoned all pretence at mitigating measures bar vaccination. Insane!

2022-02-02 Coronavirus will always be an epidemic not endemic.

– Raina MacIntyre, a professor of global biosecurity at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, told CNBC that although endemic disease can occur in very large numbers, the number of cases does not change rapidly as seen with the coronavirus.
“If case numbers do change [with an endemic disease], it is slowly, typically over years,” she said via email. “Epidemic diseases, on the other hand, rise rapidly over periods of days to weeks.”

Covid-19 ain’t endemic yet. And with such high levels of infection, high rates of vaccination it wouldn’t be surprising for another VOC to come along. Viruses mutate at a vast rate. (And we now know about VE in the UK, 2022-04-05)

Let’s be careful out there, protect the vulnerable (even those we don’t know about), and be careful of whom you listen to. They may be experts, but they’re still human and capable of talking absolute trash (e.g. Jay Bhattacharya)

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