First signs of new COVID-19 wave seen in colder countries

COVID-19 instances and hospitalizations are creeping up in Northern Europe the place the colder and wetter climate is first being felt throughout the bloc.

Latest information from Belgium, the U.Ok. and Denmark factors to a gradual uptick within the variety of instances and hospitalizations.

Belgium’s well being authority mentioned its modeling factors to a brand new COVID-19 wave hitting in mid-October. Its information printed on Friday suggests the primary ripples of this wave have already arrived.

Belgium reported a 17 p.c enhance within the variety of new instances of coronavirus within the week to September 19 from the earlier week. Hospitalizations within the week to September 22 have been extra steady, rising 4 p.c, the general public well being authority mentioned.

Denmark’s infectious illness institute reported first information indicating a reversal in an infection charges, which after an extended interval of decline at the moment are stabilizing or rising barely throughout the areas.

The institute additionally famous that hospitalizations rose 6 p.c during the last week, in contrast with the week earlier than. “People aged 70 to 89 remain the largest group among the newly admitted, as has been the case since the beginning of the year,” the institute mentioned.

And within the U.Ok., the number of recent instances within the week as much as September 17 was 13 p.c greater than the earlier week, whereas hospitalizations have been up 17 p.c within the week as much as September 19.

Public well being authorities together with the World Health Organization have been warning for some months of the possible rise in instances once more this chilly season. Of specific concern is the strain on well being techniques, particularly with an anticipated surge in different respiratory viruses like flu this winter.

“While COVID-19 rates are still low, the latest data for the last seven days indicate a rise in hospitalizations and a rise in positive tests reported from the community,” mentioned Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor on the U.Ok. Health Security Agency.

Hopkins urged these eligible to come back ahead for his or her fall vaccine booster, “sooner rather than later,” to construct up immune safety forward of the winter.

Europe has authorized boosters that concentrate on two types of the Omicron variant, together with the one that’s dominant now. The U.Ok. has to this point approved one new booster that targets the primary Omicron pressure, and has purchased sufficient for nearly the complete inhabitants.

“All of the available boosters provide good protection against severe illness from COVID-19,” Hopkins mentioned.

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