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Coronavirus may have infected half of UK population — Oxford study

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Coronavirus may have infected half of UK population — Oxford study

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New epidemiological model suggests the vast majority of people suffer little or no illness.

If the results of the study are confirmed, they imply that fewer than one in a thousand of those infected with Covid-19 become ill enough to need hospital treatment.

The new coronavirus may already have infected far more people in the UK than scientists had previously estimated perhaps as much as half the population — according to modelling by researchers at the University of Oxford.

If the results are confirmed, they imply that fewer than one in a thousand of those infected with Covid-19 become ill enough to need hospital treatment, said Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology, who led the study. The vast majority theoretical epidemiology, who led the study. The vast majority develop very mild symptoms or none at all.

“We need immediately to begin large-scale serological surveys antibody testing — to assess what stage of the epidemic we are in now,” she said.

The modelling by Oxford’s Evolutionary Ecology of Infectious Disease group indicates that Covid-19 reached the UK by mid-January at the latest. Like many emerging infections, it spread invisibly for more than a month before the first transmissions within the UK were officially recorded at the end of February.

The research presents a very different view of the epidemic to the modelling at Imperial College London, which has strongly influenced government policy. “I am surprised that there has been such unqualified acceptance of the Imperial model,” said Prof Gupta.

However, she was reluctant to criticise the government for shutting down the country to suppress viral spread, because
the accuracy of the Oxford model has not yet been confirmed and, even if it is correct, social distancing will reduce the
number of people becoming seriously ill and relieve severe pressure on the NHS during the peak of the epidemic.

Read more at https://expatlifeinthailand.com/expat-life/coronavirus-may-have-infected-half-of-uk-population-oxford-study/

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