Dr Clare Craig and Jonathan Engler and Joel Smalley

Close Analysis of Regional Notifiable Disease Data Bolsters the Case for the Epidemic Phase of COVID-19 Being a Spring phenomenon

by Dr Clare Craig FRCPath, Jonathan Engler MBChB LLB and Joel Smalley MBA When a notifiable disease, such as COVID-19, is recorded the location of the patient involved is also recorded. If notifiable disease data is a reliable measure of symptomatic COVID, then there is a striking South West predominance in the Autumn (Figure 1). The latest data shows continuing decline in notified cases of COVID-19, with only 50 cases notified to Public Health England in the week ending 20th December and 85 cases in the week ending 27th December. Other datasets including, 111 triage data, 999 triage data, ambulance surveillance data, accident and emergency attendance data and excess death data all indicate a Spring epidemic which ended at the end of May or beginning of June, a regionalised Autumn second ripple, and then a return to baseline. This baseline will be a normal level for winter as COVID is now endemic. The only data that does not fit with the other measures is the data dependent on PCR testing. Figure 1. Notified instances of COVID-19 by location. The numbers of cases that have been notified are a very small percentage of PCR positive results, despite it being a statutory obligation for the treating doctor to notify even a suspicion of a case. We have previously discussed why notifiable disease...

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